“Your son’s brain function is severely abnormal. I would recommend you begin saving for his group home care as an adult.”
Any mom would be crushed by this dire pessimistic prediction, but Bonnie did not let this UCLA neuropsychologist’s edict determine her son’s fate. Combining relentless determination with research, learning and in-depth discussions with professionals, Bonnie found ways to help him progress from ‘severely abnormal’ to honor roll student.
In the Special Ed Mom Survival Guide, Bonnie leads you through the vital steps necessary to survive as a Special Ed Mom. From learning how to manage the emotional overwhelm, to figuring out how to get the school to say yes, Bonnie presents a roadmap that leads you through this confusing obstacle course. Sharing tried and true methods, Bonnie teaches you to find your own inner compass so you can gain the ability and confidence to make decisions that bring results for your child. Based on personal and professional experience, Bonnie will help you to:
- Create the Right Mindset
- Take Care of Yourself
- Take Care of Your Child
- Understand the Special Ed Process
- Take Charge of the Special Ed Process
“If only I had had a guide to help me navigate all the challenges,” Bonnie says. “Then I could have focused more on my child and less on learning how to get help.” Every Special Ed Mom needs this guide to help make the journey easier!
Read an Excerpt-
Chapter 25: Teach Your Child to Self Advocate
Working in the schools, I am amazed how often a student is not aware of the accommodations he is entitled to in his IEP or 504 plan. The teachers are aware that an IEP or 504 is in place, but often the teachers fail to implement those accommodations. I have seen situations where teachers need to be reminded many times about accommodations. Sometimes teachers even outright refuse to provide them. It is very apparent that special education students need to learn how to self-advocate so they can make sure they get the proper support that has been approved for them.
Self-advocacy is a skill that the child has to develop over time. They are never too young to start. Even in kindergarten and first grade you can help your child learn what support is needed in order to get his schoolwork done. For example, let’s say you have a child with ADHD, and he has difficulty sitting still. He needs movement breaks. If the teacher keeps saying “get in your seat, get in your seat,” he must learn to say to the teacher “I’m allowed to move around.” It doesn’t matter what age the child is, you need to teach him that he has a right to get what he needs.
Bonnie has spent the better part of 25 years as a graphic designer and artist. Always a lover of psychology and the forces that influence behavior, it was a natural transition for her to begin working to resolve her oldest son’s special education challenges. When he was six, a neuropsychologist said he was beyond help, and to plan for his group home care as an adult. Bonnie could not accept that nothing could be done, and she set on a path to find solutions to help her son. He is now an honor student and destined to live a typical life.
Having been through the special ed system as a mom, and now as a advocate and counselor, she saw the need for support for the parents who carry this challenging burden. She has helped parents who struggle with districts who refused services, and she has coached parents in finding ways help their child succeed against the odds. Bonnie knows the fear a mother feels when her child’s future is uncertain, and that is why she chose to shift her life focus into educational consulting. She has a thriving practice as an educational consultant and advocate for parents who find themselves struggling with the special education journey.
She is the author of Special Ed Mom Survival Guide: How to prevail in the special ed process while discovering life-long strategies for both you and your child. She is also the creator of Grounded for Life: 52 Exercises for Daily Grounding, and co-author of Same Journey, Different Paths: Stories of Auditory Processing Disorder. She has a masters in educational counseling and another in spiritual psychology. Her bachelors degree is in architecture. She lives in Ventura County, California with her husband, two boys and their two furry felines.
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