Get to know Simone de Hoogh a bit and listen to why she started PowerWood for neurodiverse families
“When our daughter was 6, she had trouble sleeping, anxiety attacks, scratched her head until it bled, hit her younger brother followed by deep despair about her own behaviour. She said she wanted to die, we didn’t love her and she hated herself. My drive to understand her and to be able to support her brought me where I am today.” Simone de Hoogh
Simone de Hoogh’s journey started with wanting to understand her own children and led her to discover through her study overexcitability, asynchronous development, high-ability, twice-exceptionality (high-ability combined with a learning difficulty e.g. dyslexia) and about sensory processing and anxiety-related issues and many more subjects.
This knowledge helped to explain much of her own children’s behaviour. They have grown into content young adults and Simone is an expert in helping children with this pattern of behaviour and their families.
For Simone, the umbrella term neurodiversity captures all of our children (and adults) that have as she calls it a ‘spikey profile’ and often stand out in how strongly they experience and react.
“Neurodiverse children tend to be over-sensitive, and can easily become over-whelmed and over-excited. They may be nervous or shy, or they may show strong emotional reactions,” explains Simone. “Their behaviour may be inappropriate or challenging and they are often misunderstood.”
Simone has been working to help other families with similar difficulties for over 12 years.
Simone de Hoogh has been married to her partner and best friend for more than 25 years.
Simone is a qualified Parenting Consultant, Family and Life Coach and ‘ECHA Specialist in Gifted Education’ with over twenty years of experience in advising, consulting and coaching schools, educational organisations, professionals, management, individuals, parents, children and teenagers, and families.
She is experienced in working with a wide range of children and families, she provides information and support for positively living with neurodiverse, atypical and/or over-excitable, more-able children.
She has followed a postgraduate programme towards The European Advanced Diploma in Educating the Gifted at the Radboud University in the Netherlands, approved by the European Council of High Ability (ECHA) and received the diploma in 2008.
In this video made by the children at PowerWood, with the help of Kate Jangra, she explains why PowerWood is so important to her.
Her consultancy developed into PowerWood, a not for profit social enterprise run with the help of her family and 30+ volunteers.
PowerWood is dedicated to helping neurodiverse families, their children and teenagers with e.g. overexcitabilities or extreme Boundaries in the Mind to improve their emotion regulation and pleasure in life.
PowerWood works to help children and their families appreciate Neurodiversity as a positive personal drive for personal growth and a societal force for positive change in society and direct the energy that comes with the intensity and sensitivity towards self-chosen goals.
The Community is encouraged to embrace the positives that accompany Neurodiversity, such as creativity, energy and the ability to think outside the box. PowerWood also teaches coping mechanisms to help these sensitive and intense children find happiness and a sense of belonging.
Simone is also a qualified teacher trainer for World Language developed by Laura Groebbé (2007). Using World Language, children can map their learning and thinking experience.
How Simone was supported to set up PowerWood
Simone de Hoogh has won an award from UnLtd, a charity which supports social entrepreneurs who have been recognised by UnLtd as people with vision, drive, commitment and passion. People who want to change the world for the better.
Simone used this award to start in 2011 with the first PowerWood Camp which was a great success.
In 2012 she was awarded the Lloyd Banking Group Social Entrepreneurs Programme, which is designed to support social entrepreneurs and, through them, helps economic growth and regeneration in the UK. Simone has used this grant to further develop her PowerWood ideas.
Many parents became involved and are still involved as Active Contributors with making PowerWood the safe environment that it currently is.
Simone is very passionate about supporting parents:
“If a child gets something modelled by their parent it comes with buckets full of love and has a much more profound impact.” Simone de Hoogh
Interviews with Simone de Hoogh
Simone's blogs and vlogs
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You can read more about PowerWood’s Consultancy Sessions, the Benefits of a Free Introductory Talk and PowerWood’s Consultancy Services Tiered Fee Structure.
OE (Overexcitability) is an element of a Developmental Theory –Theory of Positive Disintegration by Dabrowski- that is one of the underpinning theories of MERT (Multi-level Emotion Regulation Theory) developed by Simone de Hoogh. Overexcitability explains and allows us to look at ‘extreme’ behaviour as a valuable asset in our or our children’s life.
A HUGE thank YOU to the son and daughter of Ernest Hartmann’s who gave PowerWood permission to use and put the full academically approved questionnaire about the Boundary in the Mind on PowerWood’s website.