SPECIAL EDUCATION ADVOCACY
Activ8 owner Anna Laboon knows. She knows what it is like to parent two children with special needs. She knows the struggles at home and the struggles with schools. She has lived the highs and the lows, over days, weeks…more than twelve years.
In addition to this lived experience, Anna counts a Master’s in Special Education among her degrees, and has worked for years within the education and advocacy arenas. Professionally, and in advocating for her own boys, she has developed close and fruitful relationships with some of the best doctors, therapists and educators around.
A compassionate mother, a skilled teacher and an effective advocate, Anna is exceptionally prepared to help you and your child transform a toxic school experience into a productive path with a bright horizon. She can rescue your relationship with your child’s school, helping to secure the support and a customized plan that will make the difference. She has an exceptional track record in this regard, and has frequently made it unnecessary for families to hire a costly special education attorney to engage the district as an adversary. She is highly respected within the Newport Mesa school district.
In short, Anna can help open the doors to activate your child’s mind. Here are some of the ways:
- Helps prepare for, and accompany parents to a variety of public school meetings, including: Individualized Educational Program (IEP), Section 504, Student Study Team (SST), Informal Dispute Resolution (IDR) meetings, and Expulsion Hearings.
- Formulates appropriate IEP goals, accommodations, modifications, behavior plans, and identifies appropriate related services such as Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy, Assistive Technology, Adaptive PE, and aide support as appropriate.
- Provides expert opinions in exploring school placement, drafts dispute resolution proposals, state Department of Education complaints, letters, and written requests to district personnel and administration.
- Reviews school records, Special Education records, 504 plans, and private assessments and evaluations.
- Creates lessons for tutors to support the child’s IEP goals in order to help achieve these goals at a faster pace.
- Consults with specialists who are knowledgeable about the child.
- Assesses each student’s case, and when appropriate, assists parents in seeking reimbursement for outside services for past, present, and future educational expenses.
- Observes child in their classroom environment and creates curriculum to support the classroom teacher.
- Informs parents/guardians of their educational rights.
- Communicates with child's teacher, therapists, school or district (phone or in-person) as needed.
Anna knows. She has walked the path. Let her walk with you.
If you are looking for an IEP advocate, I strongly recommend Anna Laboon. I tried to navigate my son’s IEP process on my own for two years and briefly worked with another IEP advocate before I met Anna. It was not until Anna helped my family that I was finally able to relax and see frequent joy back in my son’s demeanor. He is now learning and succeeding at school academically, behaviorally, and socially. There are still challenges but Anna has helped ensure that my son has the support team and tools needed to help him succeed at school. My son has severe ADHD and is on the spectrum. Prior to working with Anna, I believed that the school district had the tools and resources available to help my son, but I did not know how to get my son the help that he needed at his school. I tried everything that I could think of…talking to his special ed teacher at school daily, sitting in the principal’s office asking why district resources were not being brought in, spending the day in my son’s classroom so I could help him, volunteering my son’s therapist to work with the special ed team and his teacher…..nothing worked!!! I was naïve to think that I could navigate the system and get the support that my son needed on my own. Instead, my son (his teachers and his classmates) had negative experiences at school every day. Plus, every time the phone rang, I assumed that it was another call from my son’s principle to relay another behavior issue that occurred at school. Finding Anna helped end the struggle to find a solution that would work for my son and ease the daily anxiety that he and I experienced. Anna knows what to ask for when navigating the IEP process and knows how to successfully give and take when negotiating with the school district. Anna understands the IEP process from a parent’s, teacher’s, and administrator’s perspective as she has experienced it firsthand from all three views. If your child is within the Newport Mesa School District, Anna also provides another dimension to her advocacy advice. She is familiar with district resources involved in the IEP process, intimately knows about the various public and private schools in the area and can provide guidance on what resources are available and what may or may not work for your child. I believe that Anna truly cares for my child and all the families that she works with.
During my daughter’s second grade year it was clear our local public school was not prepared nor equipped in providing the type of behavioral support she so desperately needed. The year ended terribly for her and lacked an appropriate plan on the year ahead, even with many in-depth IEP meetings with the district. I was at a loss and didn’t know where to begin. Thankfully, a friend connected me with Anna Laboon from Activ8 Learning Center and I finally felt someone understood. It wasn’t until I started working with Anna did I feel that someone was actually putting my daughter’s best interest first! Anna was knowledgeable about the entire process with the school district, she knew what to say and when to say it, which is most important. With Anna’s guidance and support I found the perfect school for my daughter in our area and was approved for 100% funding by the school district. I couldn’t be happier with the improvements I’ve seen in my daughter this past year and I’m so grateful we never had to hire an attorney to get things done. Getting my daughter what she needed wouldn’t have been possible without Activ8 Learning.