February | Sonia Rodi
Child Behaviour Specialist , Down Syndrome Advocate, Podcaster #thebull podcast & Author.
Meet Sonia Rodi, an inspiring and driven Montrealer who continues to make a difference on the daily. She is a wife & mother to a vibrant & awesome 13 year old boy named Matteo, (her pride and joy), a Child Behaviour Specialist helping many Montrealer’s with diverse issues, a Down Syndrome advocate as well as an author.
We had the pleasure of sitting with Sonia for a candid interview earlier in the week.
JETELOVE asked Sonia what inspires her on the day to day? Without hesitation, she bounced up and replied: “ My 13 year old son Matteo He taught us to be grateful, to live life to the fullest, to enjoy the simple things that life has to offer. He sees life through beautiful coloured lenses.”
JETELOVE says : “You say that your son Matteo, is your driving force, your inspiration, your greatest love who inspired you to write the book you have just published, entitled “Mirror, Mirror, What Do You See?”. What made you want to bring this story / your story to fruition?
Sonia replied: “This book was written with two purposes in mind, one to connect with kids who are struggling with their self image, with self love, and who sometimes experience situations where there is a lack of kindness, and also for the parents to remind them of the importance of guiding our children and reminding them that the sky is the limit. Parents need to be their children’s biggest cheerleader and provide them with the wings to one day fly on their own.”
JETELOVE asked : “what is the most rewarding part of being a parent to a child with down syndrome?” Sonia replied : “ The unconditional love you get from your child every day, the pureness, the knowledge that they provide, and the beautiful reminder that they are who they’re meant to be. From a young age, we instilled in Matteo that Down Syndrome is his superpower, it is his gift. We wanted him to own it. It’s so important for people to not focus on the disability but see the ability that these kids possess. They are very capable human beings, who can teach us a thing or two.”
We asked: “What is the most challenging part?”.
Sonia replied; “ The world is sometimes not so accepting. I struggled when I gave birth to Matteo with the ignorance that surrounded me, the lack of knowledge, and the negative stigma that was attached to Down Syndrome. We kept on being told everything he wouldn’t be able to achieve, boy did he prove them wrong! He is so much more than his diagnosis.”
JETELOVE asked; “ You are a Child Behaviour Specialist, what is the most common reason parents seek your help? Is there a recurring theme?”
Sonia replied: “These days, I mostly deal with self-confidence issues, or the lack thereof, getting kids out of their shell. Social media also has led to an increase in anxiety, depression and eating disorders for many younger people who struggle on the day-to-day”.
We asked: “Are resources limited here in Montreal for those seeking assistance with their children’s issues? Sonia says : “ Yes! Absolutely, there’s a lack of resources in schools for special needs children, and support for parents. Many are obliged to seek private care.”
“You constantly advocate the importance of being kind, genuine, tolerant, and respectful daily. Why is this so important to you?”we asked. Sonia teared up saying that it is absolutely her upbringing and her beloved late father’s influence that has led her to be who she is today. Her father, Giovanni Rodi, who passed away almost six years ago, was one of the best humans she has ever met she says. “He was so generous with his time and helped so many people without expecting anything in return. He would constantly say he is a rich man, not for the financial aspect of things, but because he was rich with his family’s health and their love and that has marked her.
JETELOVE asked : “What do you want to see more of in today’s world and why?” She replied: “ Kindness, for more people to extend a helping hand”. She would love to help as many families as she can.
“If you can give your 16-year-old self, some key advice, what would it be?” we asked.
She thought for a minute, and said: “ To love yourself wholeheartedly, not to care what people think and not to strive for perfection because it doesn’t exist, don’t put that pressure on yourself”.
We asked; “ Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?” Sonia said: “ Speaking on large scale stages and empowering parents and children. I want to create a kindness movement showcasing Down Syndrome and showing its potential, I want everyone to see it!”
Thank you Sonia for being a force and advocate that is both inspiring and genuine.
We wish you ongoing success.
Should you wish to purchase Sonia’s book: “MIRROR MIRROR? WHAT DO YOU SEE?” please click on the link below.
Friesen press bookstore:
Barnes & Noble:
You can also connect with Sonia on her Instagram portal @sonia_rodichildbehaviorcoach