Years in Practice

6-10 years


Franklin TN 37064 - United States



Additional Expertise

Consultant, Family Coach

I Practice in

All areas, please inquire



I Believe

"Don’t ever let other people’s expectations of you or your child determine the quality of relationship you have with your child." Melody Aguayo, Ph.D.

About Melody Aguayo, PhD

I am a parenting consultant that helps with the following issues:  children with complex trauma, adopted children,  ADHD, ODD, anxiety, sensory processing issues, school noncompliance, and many other types of special needs parenting.    

I am a parent to a special needs child.  This has been the most defining aspect of my adult life.  It has spurred on my personal and professional interests.  It has created in me a constant desire to “know more”, “try more”, and join with others on a similar journey.   Having a special needs child also creates perspective about what really matters in life and how I can help people achieve that. 

I came to a point in my parenting journey where I realized that nothing matters if I didn’t have relational currency with my child.  Most parents realize this at some point as their children move into adulthood, but we hit rock bottom before my child was in first grade.  I had a Ph.D. in Psychology, and I couldn’t help my own child.  The irony of that did not escape me and was my constant torment.  

I had done everything I was supposed to do.  I stayed home until he started school. I read to him countless hours, limited screen time, spent hours each day outdoors, and yet his behaviors were out of control.  I had to relearn how to parent.  With typical kids you have a range of parenting strategies that will work.  With atypical kids the range is much smaller, or there is no range at all, and you have to find that one solitary thing that will work.  That one solitary thing for us was relational currency. 

I enjoy helping families learn to delight in their children again.  I love seeing expectations shift, intimacy needs met, and families finding peace after a season of chaos.  The families I work with know that I don’t ever ask them to do something I haven’t already done myself.  Parenting is hard work even when you are raising neuro-typical children.  When you have kids with hard behaviors, it can be completely overwhelming.  Parents lose sight of what is important and become people they never thought they would be as fear takes the driver’s wheel. 

I truly believe that all children want to please their parents, no matter what age they are.  If they are not pleasing their parents, it is because they do not have the skills to please them, or because they have lost hope that anything they do will be pleasing to them.  Either scenario creates a family environment that is riddled with expectations and parenting shame. 

I have given many workshops and spoken at many conferences including the Neurological Symposium sponsored by Vanderbilt University, CAFO, Orphans No More, and others.  I have a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, a Ph.D. in Psychology, and have been trained in Levels 1 & 2 of Theraplay.  I am a Circle of Security certified parent trainer and trained in Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI).  

The truth is that my professional qualifications rarely draw people through my doors.  The reason parents and children come to see me is because I can relate.  When I say to them, “I understand how hard this is”, they know that I actually do.  Parenting children who are behaviorally disruptive is a very lonely journey.  As an author and a parenting consultant, I hope to make the journey a little less lonely for every exhausted parent out there who is giving this journey their absolute best and feeling at every corner that they are short of the mark.  I help parents move that mark so that they can start hitting it successfully.

My website is www.realchild.net

I am not a Mental Health Provider and do not treat, diagnose or assess for mental illness.  

Melody Aguayo, PhD Articles