Tell us a little bit about your book.
The idea for this book came about when I was writing a business plan for my special education advocacy business. I realized I had a lot of experience, but wasn’t sure how to depart it to clients at only an hour or two a week. A book seemed like a natural fit. I created the book as a resource for moms who are looking for answers, but also struggling to make it through the process. The book is unique in that it covers the emotional aspects of parenting a child with different needs. It also talks a lot about taking charge of your child’s education because the reality is the schools are never going to do enough. I want parents to be comforted, inspired and empowered, knowing that they have everything it takes to help their child find success.
Have you published before?
I co-authored a book on auditory processing disorder called Same Journey, Different Path: Stories of Auditory Processing Disorder (https://www.amazon.com/Journey-Different-Auditory-Processing-Disord...) I have also published a deck of cards called Grounded for Life, 52 exercises for daily grounding (https://www.specialmomadvocate.com/product/grounded-for-life/)
Are you currently working on anything else?
I am working on another book that I plan to have published in February 2019. It is about alternative therapies for special education. I am a big believer in looking beyond the schools to help our children improve or overcome their disabilities. It’s never going to happen with just school support, so parents need to know what else they can do at home.
What is your favorite writing snack?
Smoked almonds. I love them and can only take them in small amounts because I will eat way too many if left unattended with a large bag.
What gets you in the mood to write?
Prayer and grounding. First I pray, asking that whatever words need to come through will come through. Then I do grounding, sensing my body in space so I can be fully present with my work. I also play American Indian drumming music. I have no idea why, but that music pulls me into a very creative space.
Who is your favorite character and why?
My book is non-fiction, so I would have to say my favorite character is my older son. While I have done all the work to find solutions for him, he is the one who had to do all the therapies or struggle before we found the right help. He has been through quite an arduous journey, and he has a strong, confident personality as a result. He inspires me every day with his desire to succeed and enjoy life.
Favorite book of all time?
I would have to say Touch of Light: The Story of Louis Braille (https://www.amazon.com/Touch-Light-Story-Louis-Braille/dp/0152896058). I read this book in 8th grade, but the story inspired me in a way that shaped how I saw life. Louis Braille was accidentally blinded by his father. Despite his disability, he wanted very much to be able to read. He went on to create braille, which allowed millions around the world to have access to books. As an avid reader the story brought me joy, but it also taught me that despite our challenges, we can find a way to make good come out of them.
I think breakfast says a lot about a person, what is your perfect breakfast?
My breakfast is simple. I have a bulletproof coffee (coffee with coconut oil blended together) and some protein; usually bacon because you can never eat enough bacon.
Do you have a favorite period of time that you like to write about or would like to live?
I would love to go back to live as a teenager in the 1950s. I think life was easier back then, and people were more carefree.
Please tell us in one sentence why we should read your book!
Because you’re a special needs mom who is tired and you want an easier way to help your child find success.
“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:
“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!
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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