The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (also known as Velo Cardio Facial Syndrome and DiGeorge ) affects 1 in 1000 students, yet most educators and physicians remain unaware of the unique learning needs of these children. It is a relatively newly recognized condition, but over 20 years of research has greatly enhanced our understanding of how to best meet the needs of students impacted by it. The genetic test to identify the syndrome has only been available since 1994, so older adults may have no idea that they have this genetic disorder. There is a wide variability in the syndrome, but almost all children affected need very specialized educational programs to make progress academically. Donna Cutler-Landsman is an author and educator with 35 years of classroom experience. She has extensive experience in helping craft specialized educational programs for this population. Services include advocating, staff training and development, transition planning, and school placement recommendations.
Children with complex genetic syndromes or complicated medical conditions often learn at their own pace and typically face learning challenges. Donna will review records and collaborate with parents and school districts to craft an individually tailored program that is based on the current scientific research available about the underlying condition. As an experienced educator and a parent with a grown child with 22q11.2, Donna is in a unique position to assist both parents and schools navigate the difficult task of programming for children with complicated learning and medical needs. Donna has provided special education advocacy for families dealing with the 22q11.2 deletion, autism, fragile x, selective mutism, and mental health needs.
I received my bachelor's degree in education and went on to receive my master's degree in counseling psychology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. I have over 35 years of classroom experience and I have been working as an educational consultant and speaker since 1999.
The focus of my practice is securing needed services for children with complex exceptional educational needs. My primary emphasis is complicated medical challenges and genetic syndromes including the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. I have been assisting schools and parents with understanding this syndrome across the United States and abroad for over 20 years. I have presented on educational issues at well over 40 conferences worldwide and I am the author of several books and articles on the subject. My book, Educating Children with Velo Cardio Facial Syndrome (also known as 22q11.2 deletion and DiGeorge) is now in its second edition.
When I'm not working with clients, I enjoy spending time with my family, oil painting, gardening, and seeing friends. i particularly love spending time with my grandchildren who constantly remind me of my love for learning.
I offer a complimentary initial call to answer brief questions and determine needs. After this initial consultation, I can recommend an appropriate service to meet the needs of the family.
I am available on an hourly basis to give families advice about current placements, IEP needs, transition, behavior, etc. I am also available to video conference into IEP meetings both in the United States and abroad.
I offer a complete line of services that includes evaluating the student's academic record, establishing reachable goals, advising the student and family throughout the special education process, advocating for the student at IEP meetings and training the staff.
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