Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Book Nook: Special Kid to Super Kid - Overcoming Learning Disability, Language Delay, and Autism

 The Paediatrician who diagnosed Ruthangela Bernadette’s daughter, Rosemary, with autism, language delay and learning disability, all but wrote her off. So did experts in the special school she attended, and a speech and language therapist.

According to the professionals, Rosemary should have been institutionalised or, at best, sent to a specialised group home. Just five years later, Rosemary thrives in a mainstream school, doing all of the things (and getting into all of the innocent trouble) girls of her age should.


In her new book, ‘Special Kid to Super Kid: Overcoming Learning Disability, Language Delay, and Autism’, Ruthangela takes readers on a journey that not only proves how the right balance of therapies can help any child overcome similar diagnoses, but shows them exactly how to replicate Rosemary’s radical transformation.

I had a chance to see an e-copy of the book. In the book, Ruthangela shares how her daughter defied the gloomy predictions and overcame her disabilities. She shares how her daughter improved social interaction and confidence, reduced stims, and changed school from being full of obstacles to being full of opportunities.


It's not necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach, but shares about the play-based Son-Rise program, which is an alternative to Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapy. It's very parent-led, so it requires a lot of parental involvement and buy-in, but if you're able to get results like Rosemary was, then it would be worth it. The author weaves in humor and honesty for a book that just may help parents of those with autism and other learning disabilities.

I had a chance to do an interview to learn more.

Why did you write this book?

Being a single mum of a special child can be very isolating.  Other mums seem to fade into the background once they hear your kid has additional needs.  Nobody gets you.  People don’t understand how, even the thought of some seemingly routine activities, such as a trip to the mall, can break us mums out in a cold sweat.

Being proactive about helping your superkid, implementing behavioural programmes, specialised diets, actively swimming against the tide of dim prognoses, isolates supermums even more, effectively marooning us on autism island.

And our stress levels are through the roof!

It’s tough, I know.  I know first-hand how stressful caring for a special kid can be. I learned my lessons the hard way. Let me share them with you.  You are not alone.

What sets this book apart from other books about parenting kids with special learning needs?

Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) has, in recent times, become the go-to behavioural intervention programme for many autism families.  I implemented an alternative programme, The Son-Rise Program®, which effectively uses your child’s stims, or “isms” as motivation.  The parent joins the child in their exclusive world, enjoying their stims with them, then when the child is ready, the parent slowly leads them by the hand into the neurotypical world.

It is a book for parents who know that, for their unique children, one size does not fit all.  It is a book for parents that believe that their child’s potential is limitless.

Difficulties associated with autism, language delay and learning disabilities can be overcome.

How can parents find resources when they have a child with special needs, especially if they live in an area with limited resources?

Well Coronavirus has it’s advantages, as everything is online nowadays, behavioural intervention programmes included!  Drop by RuthAngelaBernadette.com

How can other adults support families that have children with special needs like autism, language delay, and other learning needs?

  • Offer to babysit once in a while!

  • Offer to mow their lawn!

  • Support your friends, even if their choices appear, at the outset, to be “alternative”.

  • Be alert when it comes to what food or snacks you are giving these superkids as many of them have digestive issues and their behaviour can be affected by the gut-brain connection.

  • Remember, each child is unique, so if you have met one child with autism, then you have met one child with autism!

  • Yes, we know he doesn’t “look autistic”, get over it!


‘Special Kid to Super Kid: Overcoming Learning Disability, Language Delay, and Autism’ is available now:


Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2TtWFLy

Amazon US - https://amzn.to/3co0SZN.


For more information, visit the author’s official website: https://ruthangelabernadette.com/.



About the Author:

Ruthangela Bernadette is an author, speaker, coach, and supermum who launched her daughter from Special Kid to Super Kid. Her passion is to inspire and empower parents to do likewise, but that’s only her day job.


Her real job is raising her eye-rolling, door slamming, make-up wearing super daughter, and of course saving the universe before dinner time.

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