AN EXTRAORDINARY SELF-HELP PROGRAM
FOR AND BY NEURODIVERGENTS
The author created, developed and delivered, ROARHEART™, a highly successful and liberating program. A project they continue to develop and design since 1998, delivered between 2010 - 2015 with astounding outcomes for young people and adults including LGBTQIA2S+kin, aged 12 - 25 years.
Who bravely and courageously made the decision to entirely devote their life, putting their career, business or launching the program nationally on hold, to be their autistic, neurodivergent child's 24/7 Carer. First assisting their and their child's recovery due to the trauma from the education system to discover a ROARHEART™ approach to their young child's autistic/neurodivergent learning and living which made sense as the approach, without question, demonstrated it's an extraordinary success with supporting and reconnecting traumatised, disengaged and struggling humans.
Understanding the ROARHEART™ program provided opportunities where there were none. It was excruciating for the author not being able to launch the program after nearly twenty years of dedicated and relentless work on the amazing project.
The other facilitator of the program, late self-diagnosed autistic (after their child's autism diagnosis), are also assisting their child's recovery as a 24/7 Carer due to the trauma from the education system, as it is, and family violence. Their life too is 'on hold' to help save their's and their own child's life as well, fighting for the government, emergency and professional assistance support for them both.
In the meantime, while the ROARHEART™ program is 'on hold' both the program developer and it's facilitator they learn how to be 'participants' where their children are the 'facilitators'. They both support their children to love, trust, revel and lead with their brilliant neurodivergence by following their child's inbuilt inexplicable knowledge within – their intuition – in all matters concerning them.
"My parent (also late self–diagnosed autistic/neurodivergent) remembered and shared with me, 2 days before putting this blurb together when she hugged a 150–year–old Morton Bay Fig Tree she heard these words...
"Be less concerned with what you build and be more concerned about
TRULY LIFE CHANGING AND INSPIRING!
The ROARHEART™ program is a therapeutic person-centred holistic creative program for neurodiverse women 12 - 25 yrs identifying all the needs on the Social Model of Health. It is a non-clinical, self-management, self-lead structure with a non–mono approach where the individual’s needs are identified underpinning experiences are addressed.
“When I first attended your group with grandma, I didn’t think it would impact me like it has...that something has lit up again. It lit up and it’s burning.”
– Young woman 16 yrs.
Twenty–five ROARHEART™ programs were delivered over a period of five years. The program’s aims were to provide opportunities linking and increasing participants’ engagement to learning and work, mental health and other medical services, counselling, community events and organisations, peer support and volunteer work, leisure and recreational activities.
86% of participants disclosed family violence, sexual assault, self-harm, addiction, eating disorders and being victims of bullying.
The program attracted and successfully supported many young and adult autistic/neurodivergent women, including LGBTQIA2S+ kin.
The program is based upon a book written by FAN of ROARHEART, undiagnosed autistic, PDA, ADHD'er and survived family violence, addiction, mental illness, eating disorders, poor body image, self-hate, depression, difficult relationships, financial insecurity, unemployment and struggles with day–to–day living who developed a pathway to know, direct and master one's individual and diverse life; the way they love, play, learn, work, live and heal.
“I learnt heaps, especially from the sex education,
it helped me confront some of my own issues.” – Young woman 15 yrs
“As a facilitator of the program I get to witness young women’s transformations from silent suffering, the pretending everything is ok to be reconnected with themselves, others and their community.
The author has taken self-recovery programs and biographical books to a whole new level exposing her most embarrassing and shameful experiences – “leaving nothing out” – to shine a loving light on our human complexities and vulnerabilities.”
The idea behind the ROARHEART™ program has always been about letting others experience freedom from inner isolation. The book smashes through the lack of possible sharing and transparency in our society and in our homes around our humanness compounded by the pressure to be perfect and have everything together.
I experienced being transformed by her honesty and completely raw and uncensored words. I found myself crying one minute and laughing the next “there was nowhere to hide”. I feel this book could have been written by any girl, anywhere.
The profound program empowers young women (& non-binaries) to share and disclose those things they too struggle within their own lives in a creative, non-judgmental and safe space.
Coming from a professional counselling background the difference I find in both the book and it’s program is the approach, its where the magic lies, it’s not about teaching – it’s about sharing and why the program has been so successful.”
"MOST DON'T TALK" - 86% DO IN ROARHEART'S PROGRAM!
79% Felt more satisfied with themselves
88% Felt more active
84% Felt increased comfort in their relationships
84% Felt healthier
ENGAGEMENT - INTERNAL ASSESSMENT
49% Engaged with a supporting Auspice Agency Support Worker
22% Started employment
51% Engaged with the programs social media private page
27% Stayed engaged with the program's fortnightly youth lead group
54% Stayed engaged with the program after the 12-week program
55% Engaged with community events and activities
22% Became peer support persons for the programs
23% Connected with other community services
27% Volunteered in their community
ENGAGEMENT - EXTERNAL ASSESSMENT
46% Engaged in mental health services (Internal assessment)
15% Increase in returning to education (Internal assessment)
31% Increase in education participation (Internal assessment)
Vulnerable groups recognised by the Government vulnerable to Family Violence who participated in the ROARHEART™ program 2014
26% Had a Disability
5% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
2 % Disclosed Sexuality/LGBTQIA2S+kin
34% Mental Health issues
100% Live rural
17% Homeless/temporarily homeless
THE PERCENTAGE OF DISCLOSURES
86% Disclosed at least once: sexual assault, family violence, self-harm, bullying, homelessness, disordered eating/poor body image
34% Disclosed Sexual assault
41% Experienced Family violence
56% Experienced bullying at school
54% Eating disorders/Disordered Eating/Poor Body Image
39% Mental Health issues
23% Experienced Suicide attempts/planning
59% Self-harm (pulling hair, cutting, substance abuse, eating disorders)
“Yes having the opportunity to learn about health, relationships,
everything that was talked about helped me realise that
I’m no different from everyone else.
I use to think I was ugly and that no one liked me. I
actually feel good about myself, no one is better than me.
I’m perfect in my own way.
I like myself a lot more and realise who I am”
– 19 yrs, single mum
photography by lizarcus.com
"Yes, having the opportunity to learn about health, relationships, everything that was talked about helped me realise that I’m no different from everyone else. I use to think I was ugly and that no one liked me. I actually feel good about myself, no one is better than me. I’m perfect in my own way. I like myself a lot more and realise who I am. ”
SINGLE MUM, 19 YRS