Special Education/Teenage underachiever


Adopted child at age 7. Struggled through elem. School but no help was offered and I didn't know to push for it. These are the professionals, I thought he was just a defiant, normal boy. He was loosely labeled ADD and put on Vyvanse at age 10. Looking back can see that coming off the med at dinner time made him angry and aggressive. At age 10 I enrolled him in a study at the University of Vermont for ADD kids. It was determined that his GIA was 130, 98%. Even giving this info to his school nothing was done. Stupid me, I still didn't push. Entered middle school and did poorly grades and attitude, I took him off meds at the end of the school year. We had a beautiful boy, clear eyes, smiling, engaged but still not doing well acedemically. We had him intensively tested at the STERN CENTER $(1,700). GIA 128, 97%, IQ 120 but multiple areas of weaknesses and identified as a hands on learner. 8th grade  put on a 504 but really not implemented well and still failing. School pushing him on. Now in beginning of 9th grade and miserable with longer class times (75 mins), same teaching styles etc. but now into risky behavior,  marijauna, and suspended, possibly expelled. Meeting today.


You need to have your son assessed for special education. Send a letter to the principal asking, "Please assess my son for special education." Then briefly describe the problems he is having. You should share the results you received from the Stern Center identifying his areas of weakness.

The federal law, IDEA, requires that the school present you with an assessment Plan within 15 days. Once you sign this and turn it in, they have 60 days to assess your son and present their findings at an IEP.

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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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