Special Kid to Super Kid by Ruthangela Bernadette (Book Excerpt)

The 10 Secrets of Unleashing Your Child’s Superpowers

Hey, Ruthangela, it’s your future self here. How’s it going? I bet you’re wondering why I’ve contacted you out of the blue like this. Well, it’s pretty simple, you sent me. Your future self wanted you to know a few things that you really weren’t supposed to learn for another ten years or so.

So, here I am!

You know you’re a super mum, don’t you? Don’t look at me like that! Yes, you are a super mum, and you are going to help other super mums and super dads who are super-stuck right now, just like you were stuck for the longest time.

Do you know you helped your child overcome autism difficulties? Well, you did. And not just autism, but a learning disability and language delay, too. Oh, sorry! Am I going too fast for you? Yes, that’s right, your beautiful baby girl sleeping in her cot right now will receive diagnoses of autism, learning disability, and language delay. But don’t panic, it’s okay because you’re going to unleash your super kid’s superpowers. Yeah, she’s a superhero, too.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Is that the time already? Right then, let’s get to work. I haven’t got all day, you know. Now grab a pen. I’m going to give you The 10 Secrets of Unleashing Your Child’s Superpowers.

Secret #1: The Ultimate Secret

By far, the most important secret. Remember it and remember it well.

You and you alone are the expert on your child. Nobody else knows more about your kid than you do. Oh, some may think they are more knowledgeable about your child, but they are deluding themselves because they don’t. And get this . . . they are the ones who will say that you are the deluded one.

By no means am I suggesting you forge ahead with your mission without listening to experts in their fields. Yes, you are the expert on your child as a whole, but you need to listen to doctors, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, teachers, etc. sometimes. Ultimately, it is up to you what you do with their advice. You and only you can make that choice because you are the expert.

Secret #2: Listen to Your Gut

Remember the old saying, “Mother knows best?” It’s true. When it comes to your kid, you do know best. Your gut will tell you if something isn’t right. It doesn’t lie. Sorry dads, but when God was handing out gut instincts, he missed most of you.

Secret # 3: Ignore Ignore Ignore

Ignore the crabs. Ignore the naysayers. Ignore the well-meaners. Ignore the expectation- managers. These sorts are particularly adept at grabbing you with their pincers and dragging you back down into the bucket. Don’t let them drag you down. You’ve got work to do, and you need to get out of that bucket to do it. So, ignore these people, but never ever ignore your gut.

Secret # 4: Your child is a sensitive soul

Your child picks up on every nuance, inference, hint of annoyance/impatience/joy/excitement in your voice and mannerisms. Autism does not equal stupid, and just because some of them can’t speak, or express themselves eloquently, does not mean they don’t understand what is going on. They do. They get it. In fact, they are so intuitive that they appreciate what is going on in a much deeper way than you can even contemplate. If you are stressed, they feel it. If you are depressed, they feel it. Never ever talk about your child in front of them. Choose your words, tone, and body language carefully, and tell others to do likewise.

Secret # 5: Start Early

You should have started earlier. When I say earlier, I mean like when she was eighteen months old, not six-and-a-half. If you had started then, it would have been much easier, it would have taken considerably less time, and you could have saved yourself a whole lot of heartache. But hey, you got there in the end, didn’t you? Nobody needs a diagnosis of any kind to start Son-Rise.

Secret # 6: Choose a school like you would choose a spouse

Yep, it’s that important. And let’s face it, seven or eight years in any school is a longer time than a lot of marriages these days. I would have preferred it if you had taken her out of school completely and “Son-Rised” and home-schooled her yourself for a couple of years, because you would have covered much more ground in a shorter space of time if you had. But, you couldn’t afford to do that, and you needed to work to bring home the bacon, so I respect your decision to do it the way you did. When choosing your child’s school, listen to your gut.

Secret # 7: Dig Deep

You will spend a lot of money. There is no way around this fact. You will have to dig deep into your pockets and deep within yourself to resource this project. Choose what you spend your money on wisely. Some parents have taken out a second mortgage on their home to fund their kid’s interventions, but you won’t need to take such drastic action. You won’t realise it at the time, but you chose the most cost-effective way of helping Rosemary.

Secret # 8: This will isolate you

You will lose friends. You will lose acquaintances. You and your child will be marooned upon Son-Rise-Home-school Island for a few years, but that’s alright because the view from the top of Son-Rise-Home-school Mountain far outweighs the climb. But you could do without any extra baggage along the way.

You will also lose the respect of many people, because in their eyes, you are that idiotic woman who went to that hippie place in the States, banged a drum, and ate a few magic mushrooms. Let them think whatever they want because what they think is none of your business.

Secret # 9: Make allies, not enemies

You’re in for a marathon, not a sprint here, and the more support you can find, the better. Don’t lose your temper with people who honestly believe they are helping you, even if they’re not. Don’t shoot your mouth off at them and burn your bridges, even if they do deserve it.

Newsflash! Not all teachers/therapists/clinicians care about your kid. Sorry to have to break it to you, but it’s true. You’ll be able to spot them quite easily. They’re the ones who might look like they are listening to you when really they’re just waiting for their turn to talk. They don’t know any better, so go easy on them. Not all of them are as bad as that, and some of them are really talented. So, do me a favour, will you? Squeeze out a semblance of civility with these people every now and again? Please?

Secret # 10: Look after you

Take it from me, Ruthangela, you might have helped Rosemary, but you almost killed yourself in the process. Looking after yourself is just as important as looking after your special child. If you are running on empty, it will show in your work with your child, and you will lack the 3 Es.

Remember the safety drill on board the plane. ‘If travelling with a child, always attend to your own oxygen mask before securing theirs.’ If you can’t find a good life coach, someone who understands the unique work that you are doing, then become a life coach yourself.

What are you looking at me like that for Ruthangela? I’m only doing what you asked me to. Lord knows I don’t have much time to spare these days.

Right then! Have you got all that? I hope you remember these secrets, especially the ones about keeping a lid on your hot temper and looking after yourself. You will won’t you?

Well, that’s everything, I think. Got to go. See you in about ten years! Any questions?

My younger self stared at my older self in stunned silence.

Ruthangela, you need a really long break girl.

Righty-ho! Got to fly. Got an important work conference to get to because I’m Head of Sales for Mattel now, but that’s just my day job, I’ve got to save the world first.

Has anyone seen my cape?


About the Author and Book

When a child is diagnosed with learning disability, language delay, and autism, your world crumbles and panic takes over. Why me? Who will look after my kid when I’m gone? Disabilities like these can rob your child of self-esteem and dash your hopes and dreams for their future.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. Author, speaker, coach Ruthangela Bernadette knows this first-hand.

Sometimes harrowing, sometimes laugh out loud funny, this book tells the story of how Ruthangela’s daughter, Rosemary, defied the doctors’ gloomy predictions and overcame all three disabilities.

Discover the 10 Secrets of how Rosemary triumphed over autism, learning disability, and language delay, without breaking the bank. Your child will….

  • Improve social interaction.
  • Make friends and gain confidence.
  • Transform school from being a battleground of obstacles into a playground of opportunities.

Not all superheroes wear capes—some wear aprons in the kitchen instead. Parents like you are superheroes! You can help your child go from super-stuck to super kid—starting today!

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