Book Review by Leslie Burby
When the School Says No…How to Get the Yes! By: Vaughn K. Lauer
I have to say I was eager to read this book, not that I’m not excited about every book that I’m sent but as a former special educator and now as a mother that joins a PPT meeting from the other side of the table; I thought perhaps I might bring a unique perspective. Plus it is always good to make sure I’m not missing anything or have forgotten anything. I want to make sure that I get my children what they need when I walk into a school meeting.
When the School Says No…How to Get the Yes starts with explaining how the experienced Special Educator Vaughn Lauer had heard stories of many parents not being able to get what their child needed from the school. From there he explains the basics of how to communicate and the importance of data. He compares the IEP to a road trip and suggests thinking of the IEP as a route to help get your child where you want him or her to go. I liked this use of imagery because I am a visual thinker and often need a metaphor to help me retain information.
He discusses the key questions that everyone on the IEP Team needs to consider to best meet the unique needs of a student and defines the roles of team players.
The rest of the book follows the structure of a detailed story from a parent that has a special needs child followed by a breakdown of how to help the parent best achieve the best outcome possible for their unique situation.
The book gives a wealth of information like none other I’ve seen. I will tell you to not be turned away at the length. I know we are all pressed for time but I think that it is possible to read the introduction chapter and one other chapter that specifically pertains to your child and still be able to understand and benefit from the book. Although I suggest reading the book in its entirety to maximize your benefits; if you are pressed for time before a scheduled meeting, it is better to read some than none.
When the School Says No…How to Get the Yes should be on every special needs parent’s night stand. Consider it required reading before your next PPT meeting to maximize the services you can attain for your child. Even as a former teacher I found new information. Well done to Vaughn and all the parents that helped him make this book.
This article was featured in Issue 17 – Autism Awareness and Acceptance!
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