Upon being told that her 6-year-old son had a developmental disorder, Bonnie Landau, MS, PPS, went into an emotional tailspin. The Ventura, CA mom says she received an ineffective Individualized Education Program (IEP), a document that defines services for public school children and a limited 504 plan.
Her latest book, Special Ed Moms Survival Guide discusses her 11-year mission to uncover the true diagnosis and effective treatments behind her son’s condition.
“Many children are not going to improve unless they get specific therapies that the school is not allowed to offer,” says Landau. “Parents need to know when to cut their losses and turn to alternative sources to help their child improve or manage their learning challenges.”
The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) studies shows the number of children ages 3–21 receiving special education services was 6.6 million in 2014-15, or 13% of public school students. Most parents do not realize that the school’s testing of their child’s learning challenges may be inadequate, resulting in years of lost time in receiving proper medical attention, says Landau.
“The diagnosis is not a prognosis,” she adds.
Landau’s goal is to educate mothers to understand a school’s educational profile, how they assess and administer services and to advocate on their children’s behalf. Many school districts tend to test and label students without delving into deeper and potentially different root causes of challenges. Also, many of the best solutions for the special ed child are medical in nature that are diagnosed by a medical professional outside of school. Schools simply do not have the authority, capability and resources needed to make a complete exhaustive diagnosis.
Special Ed Mom Survival Guide can be found on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Price $16.99 paperback. $8.99 kindle. Ingram for distribution on Apple Store.