Special Education/Expert Profile

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Questions concerning special education: IEP, assessments, Due Process, mediation, resolution conference, federal law, state law, qualifying for services, residential treatment, special day classes, resource specialists, procedures, having your child assessed, adaptive PE, speech & language, non-public school, FAPE, and tuition reimbursement.

Experience in the area

I have been an education advocate representing students and parents for six years. My experience includes: representing my clients in IEPs, SSTs, Due Process, review assessment results for my clients, and mediations. I have represented clients with learning disabilities, autism, Downs Syndrome, cognitively challenged, emotional problems, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, and physical disabilities. I have also represented clients to County Mental Health Departments and Regional Centers. My clients range from pre-school to college students in many states.


I have a degree in Mathematics from the University of California with minors in Psychology and Physics. I also studied applied statistics in psychology at the graduate level. I have taught college classes, conducted seminars, written articles for various publications, and testified as an expert witness.

What do you like about this subject?

When done properly, special education can help students to over come a wide variety of challenges to reach their full potential. I get so much fullfilment in seeing my clients do well in school and in their lives.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

Every day I learn more about this exciting field. There are so many ways to help students to overcome disabilities. Technology is going to play a big part in this in the future. But there will always be a need for dedicated, hard working special education teachers and service providers.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

There are many services available to help students. But many don't know about Assistive Physical Education (APE), Occupational Therapy (OT) which includes overcoming sensory issues, Speech and Language services can include pragmatics (learning how to read others), and social skills (learning how to interact socially with others). Students with emotional challenges can even receive counseling.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

Some school districts do a great job of identifying and serving special education students others do not. Under the law, schools are supposed to seek out and identify students potentially needing special education help. They are supposed to assess these students and provide then with the services they need based on the results of these assessments. This even applies to students in private schools.

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Recent Answers from Tim Runner

2017-02-15 Adhd and IEEs:

Jodi,    You can always ask for the school to pay for the independent assessment. You might ask, "My medical insurance won't pay for an assessment of my daughter's ADHD claiming it is an educational matter

2017-02-15 Adhd and IEEs:

Jodi,    Many school districts consider ADHD a medical condition and require the medical diagnosis. Based on this they require a medical diagnosis at parent expense. I would have to look at Due Process

2017-01-25 Fape deadline:

Jana,    Unfortunately, all the data concerning Due Process you have researched is correct. I have seen only a very few exceptions to the 2 year limitation. And you chances of winning are very low if you

2016-10-24 Gifted programming special ed student:

Daniela,    I wish I could give you a simple answer, but I can't. First, it depends on how you approached home schooling. Did you enroll your son in a home school program through a charter school? If you

2016-09-18 ABA through insurance:

Mary,  You are going to have to decide what is most beneficial to your son. I have clients that have benefited greatly from ABA and others that have not made much progress. But you won't know until you


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