Hey there, I’m Ilyssa. Nice to meet you!
I’m passionate about helping parents connect to their most difficult children.
After training as a clinical psychologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara and studying developmental psychology at Stanford University I thought I was super-prepared to be a mommy. But really, my kids taught me things academia never could have.
My personal journey as the parent of a child with multiple hidden differences has given me deep compassion for parents raising complex kids. I know what it feels like to raise a child that popular parenting books are just not written for.
How I went from chaos to confidence
My early years of parenting were the hardest years of my life. My son had loooong, intense meltdowns that drained me to the core. As a psychologist, I was trained to diagnose and treat. I wanted a diagnosis; I wanted to find the problem, name it, treat it and be on the other side.
This mindset kept me stuck and helpless. I read books, went to professionals and mostly got different versions of: rewards + consequences + consistency = behavior change. But rewards were short lived, consequences created power-struggles and every day I felt like a horrible mother because I couldn’t be consistent enough (after all, if it wasn’t working, it must be me, right?)
The game changer for me was finding other mommies like me, online communities of women who were raising kids with what I call Hidden Differences. We all had kids who looked like all the other children on the playground but were SO much more intense, complex and confusing.
The support I found taught me how to uncover the roots of my child’s stress, support his strengths and create plans that actually shifted the difficult behavior so I could ENJOY my family.
Today, my passion is creating that community for Jewish mommies of complex kids so none of us have to walk this journey alone.
Can’t wait to meet you!
"We finally have an approach, a method that works."
"I joined one of Dr. Bass’s courses because I have a daughter with a hidden difference. I've been for individual guidance and joined parenting groups in the past, I am usually shy in public so I was hesitant to join here …Whoa, was I in for a surprise! Ilyssa is so welcoming and makes you feel that you really matter. If I didn't share in the beginning she invited private emails and always responded! She's fully there to make sure you get more than you imagined!"
- Bracha, Canada, mother of 5
Everything I wish I had known
Parenting a complex kid can:
Be frustrating, draining and isolating.
Strain your close relationships.
Wear down your nervous system to the point of total burnout.
It can also be a really interesting, deeply meaningful growth journey for you, your child and your family.
The first step in shifting your reality is acceptance: this is hard and you and your child deserve the best help you can get.