Meet Courtney & Sean

Courtney Willegal

  • Masters in Clinical Professional Counseling from Roosevelt University (2006)
  • Specialize in Crisis Counseling, De-Escalation techniques, Psychological First Aid, Childhood Mental Health, sexual assault, domestic violence
  • Certified Life Coach
  • Author of Responding to the Invisible Child (2018)
  • Adjunct Speaker with Paramedic Network

Speaking Engagements

  • Paramedic Network (Fall 2019 | Spring 2020 | Fall 2020}
  • WEMSA (2019)
  • ACA Camping Association (2020)

     

    Meet Courtney & Sean - Founders of Keep Calm Tool Kits 

    Raising a child in today's society isn't easy.  There are so many expectations that we face as a parent and so many things that we need to juggle on a daily basis.  Life can be even more complicated and overwhelming when you are raising a child(ren) who is/are suffering from anxiety, ADHD, depression or other mental health challenges or symptoms. We often don't know where to turn or who to go to for support and answers. 

    Like thousands of parents out there, I struggled to raise Sean (10 years old) and provide him with the best care possible.   I have taken Sean to so many doctors and met with so many specialists (since the age of 5). I tried different types of behavioral modifications and punishments/reward charts to help him focus, regulate his emotions and survive a day without going into a meltdown, eating his clothing, trying to hurt others or hiding in a locker at school. Sean and I tried almost every type of medication his psychiatrist would prescribe to help him.  I was always so cautious and afraid to take him out in public, or even out of the house in fear of what would happen, how people would treat him and if he would be able to stay calm and not have a hard time. It was a nightmare that I couldn't find the end to. 

    I begged his doctors and psychiatrist to help me find resources and tools that might help him.  No one seemed to know what fidgets/tools would be good for him or where I should look next for the best support for my son. I decided that if no one was going to help me find the tools needed to help my son, I would take matters into my own hands.  I did extensive research on tools out there on Amazon and  bought hundreds of dollars of fidgets only to find that what was being recommended was not quality, was easily destroyed and often did little to hold his interest. We were successful in finding dozens of fidgets though that he loved and seemed to help him regulate his emotions and cope with daily life. Sean loved the tools/fidgets so much that we developed his own sensory tool kit for him to take with him wherever he was.  His tool kit helped him so much that he doesn't go anywhere without it.  

    After a family gathering, in which my nieces and nephews fell in love with Sean's tool kit, Sean asked me why other kids don't have a tool kit like he does. I mentioned to him that this was a special tool kit that only he had and that many parents didn't know about the special kinds of tools he used.  Sean didn't like that and asked me if his tool kit was something that other children would like as well and if it would help them as much as it helps him.  I knew it would be. Out of that conversation with Sean grew the idea for the Keep Calm Tool Kit. Sean and I talked about the types of fidgets he likes, what he thinks other kids would like and what would be the best tools to put in there. We even discovered that he likes different types of tools/fidgets depending on the time of day, how he is feeling and what he has access to. 

    I am excited to say that every fidget and resource put in the Keep Calm Tool Kit has been kid tested, kid approved and had to withstand the constant, hard use that Sean would put the fidget through in order to get his stamp of approval. Sean is beyond excited to share his tool kit with other children just like him who need a little extra support to get through the day.  He wants all kids to have access to the same resources that he loves and uses.