I would like to extend a huge thank you to Susan Horning. If it weren't for Susan and her expertise, our son would not be getting the help he needs and deserves.

Our son had previously been tested in Pre-K and qualified only for Speech and Language services through the school district. Then he was graduated from the IEP program mid Kindergarten, yet was always struggling with reading. When my son's first grade teacher approached me and told me he is at the bottom of the class in reading and still at beginning Kindergarten level, a red flag went up again and I requested he be tested again.

After having our son also privately evaluated by an Educational Therapist, she found some learning disabilities that she felt strongly he should qualify for an IEP. She referred me to Susan Horning, and boy was that the best decision. These IEP meetings can be very intimidating and intense. Susan asked me to obtain all of my son's records. She diligently combed through a stack of paperwork dating back to Pre-K for our son all within two days or so prior to our big IEP meeting.

Susan made her notes and came and met with my husband and I prior to the meeting to let us know what she found as far as discrepancies and laws to back up these discrepancies. She helped us navigate through this whole, literally painful process.

You can't put a price tag on the fact that you are doing the best for your child and being your child's advocate by hiring an advocate!

Needless to say, the school disagreed with us at first, however after they read through all of the resources Susan provided, they decided to do more testing on our son using the tests Susan recommended. And at the follow-up IEP meeting, they found my son eligible! Yay!

I want to commend Susan on maintaining her professionalism, on keeping up to date on current laws, and for being available to hold our hand through everything. What a relief. I can't thank her enough. I would definitely recommend Susan Horning Advocacy.

-Martinez Unified School District Parent

We had come to an impasse with our school district in getting services and support for our son and turned to Susan for help.  That was the best decision we have ever made.  Susan helped us effectively navigate the special education system.  She is extremely knowledgeable about learning disabilities, special education laws and regulations, what resources schools need to provide, and how to obtain those resources.  She also has contacts in the legal system that can provide added benefits to her services. After reading through our son's file, Susan uncovered more problems than we were even aware of and then she worked tirelessly to get all the issues resolved.  Susan attended all our meetings with the school district and was professional, well-informed, and assertive.  We were able to make progress in getting some help for our son which had not happened previously.  In addition, Susan drafted letters, complaints, and responses to the school, district personnel, and outside agencies.  Finally, Susan clearly explained everything to our family to help educate us and strengthen our advocacy skills.  We already have and will continue to recommend Susan to other parents who need help with the special education process. Our only regret is that we did not contact her years ago.

- Benicia Unified School District parent

I cannot fully express how grateful my son and our family are for your hard work and dedication during the IEP process. You worked diligently and combed through over 8 inches and 5 years of paperwork to pull out all the important information. You came fully prepared to each meeting with a list of corrections for the mistakes the district made, suggestions for improvements to the IEP, and assurances that my son deserved a basic education. You not only focused on the IEP, but worked with me to ease my mind. You told me to stop worrying and to let you handle it. Lifting this burden freed me to focus on my family. You coached me on remaining calm when my emotions were taking over my clear thoughts. You offered up your services for class visits, educational progress reports, and school visits for a proper placement. You went above and beyond your commitment with me and I am so very grateful.

- Alameda Unified School District parent

I am ever so grateful for your support regarding my son's IEP. Your vast knowledge of the process and educational law coupled with your smooth collaborative nature in meetings was exactly what we needed. You're a true professional. Thank you!

- Pleasanton Unified School District parent

Do u have an updated 504 plan? You should call Susan Horning first. She's an advocate and a dyslexic parent. She is a fully trained and much cheaper than a lawyer. Her contact info is:
susan@susanhorningadvocacy.com  925-938-7312

- Charles Armstrong Parent

Hi Armstrong parents and all, As a follow-up to my email in early October, I'm happy to report that we have had a satisfactory outcome to our quest to keep our son's 504 plan in place at his high school in Belmont. It took two meetings with the school and us being very, very clear that we knew the law and were NOT going to waive his rights to a 504 plan. We were able to stand our ground thanks to all the CAS parents, alumni, education professionals and experts who provided a outpouring of advice and helped immensely. Thank you to you all. I think we were successful because we:1) Knew the law and the correct lingo (thank you to Susan Horning, and many others for this) 2) Reminded them that the law says that they have to take mitigating measure into account when assessing him (ie. the disability didn't go away just because he's doing well...they have to take into account the mitigating measures) and we clearly listed all the mitigating measures (accommodations, tutor, medication)3) The fact that he is taking accelerated classes does NOT disqualify him from having a 504 plan - we quoted the law on this one and it quickly became a non-issue4) Repeatedly said we "would not waive our son's rights to a 504 plan"5) Did not sign ANYTHING until it was a form saying that we were keeping the 504 plan.6) Insisted they include in the notes of the meeting that us, as parents, do not agree with their assessment that our son is able to "access the curriculum" just fine. 7) Had our son use the accommodations as much as logically possible from the beginning of October to the time of our second meeting this week. We documented the use, and the school was aware of it too. My overarching advice to all who have kids with 504 plans is to make sure your kids use the accommodations regularly so you don't find yourself in the situation we experienced. Again, thanks to this wonderful community.

- Charles Armstrong Parent









Susan Horning Advocacy, Walnut Creek, California - Ph. 925-938-7312 -  Susan@SusanHorningAdvocacy.com

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