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Special Education/DENIAL OF FAPE for little to NO PROGRESS


This is very painful for me.  I see a similar question but am saddened by the reply. My child has made no progress in his school for over a year. I mean none. Everything has been from home and growing older and even that is not alot.  My child is OCD with Tourettes and ADD and a significant language impairment. Even with all this, he is a very bright and competent child. Sometimes he melts down over OCD but otherwise he is very very good. He learns a certain way and I have discussed it with the school endlessly and it falls on deaf ears. They would never bring in a specialist. I don't understand how no progress isn't a denial of a FAPE. Do I stand a chance of being reimbursed if I try to find people privately. I don't even know how to do that or if I could afford to lay out the money. I just know there is something wrong with no progress. They offer alot of support but it is not helping. Please don't suggest another evaluation. My son threw up once after a too long evaluation. It makes him very very anxious to be pushed for hours on end and I can't do this to him. He is very smart but he is frustrated by not knowing answers presented verbally-auditorally but he does know the concept.  When he does know answer, he thinks it boring so doesn't answer. I feel so badly for him. He is still very young. Can you give me specific advice on how to craft this as denial of FAPE? I am sure there are cases of kids who claimed this even though there was support, just wasn't what was needed.  Shouldn't the school HAVE TO MAKE CHANGES if what they do doesn't work? I have read many posts here and I must say, I do not care about alienating the school district. They alienated me by promising not to do certain things and then doing them. They have made my son doing work COMPLETELY reliant on external motivators (including JUNK FOOD) which I never ever had to do at home. Thank you so much ina dvance


I am sorry to hear about what is being done to your child by the school. No progress is a denial of FAPE but your challenge is proving this. Unfortunately, major decisions in special education are made based on assessment results. For example, if you were to file for a Due Process Hearing, you have to be able to prove to the judge that your son made no progress. This is usually done by comparing academic achievement assessment scores from year to year.

To have your son educated privately can be accomplished in one of two ways: (1) You prove your case in front of an administrative law judge in a Due Process Hearing; or (2) You find a Charter Home School to work with and you become your son's teacher. The home-school has to provide special education services based on assessment results. You can hire a tutor to do the actual teaching, but you have to pay for this.

I represent a number of students that were not served adequately by their school. I have been able to place them in non-public schools at school district expense, but it has almost always required filing for Due Process. I have also represented students to charter schools to get them the special educations services they need.

The bottom line is you son is going to have to take assessments to enable you to get the help he needs. Sorry.

I wish you and your son the best,
Tim Runner, Advocate
Advocates for Kids
Phone: (949) 582-3601
You can learn more at my web site:  

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Tim Runner


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.


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.

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