Special Education/Cse stonewall

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Question
Have you attended Iep meetings in nj? My problem is the cse is always 20-45 min long and I can't finish. I feel they do this purposely. They never accommodate my schedule and if I want a second meeting its a month later when I'm away summers.  How can I ensure I get enough time? Also at meetings there are questions they refuse to answer. Is there anything I can do? The meetings are not open. If I bring up a violation I get the silent treatment actual silence and the teachers are on board clearly bc they've been instructed. Do lawyers ever do contingency or no? I feel I have an extremely strong case things key items on Iep not followed AT ALL.  My income pretax is 65k and while it may seem like a lot I simply can't budget 10k for an attorney. Afraid an advocate won't get me anywhere because why would the district treat them any differently. Please advise.

Answer
Shayna,
I have participated in one IEP via phone in NJ. It is more difficult to do than being in person. You can request an IEP at any time and you can specify the length of time you are requesting for your IEP. The have 30 to respond to your request. They are supposed to do everything they can to accommodate parental participation in the IEP. This means making them at a day/time convenient for you. They can not answer questions if hey choose to do so. Depending on the question, you have the right to submit your question in writing which requires an answer from them within 30 days.

I know of no lawyer or advocate (like me) that takes cases on contingency. Part of the reason is there are never  payments made to the parents other than to reimburse educational costs. The law does require that the school district pay your "reasonable" legal fees for a Due Process Hearing, but only for the potion of the complaint you win. Rarely do you win on every issue, thus you still have to pay legal fees.

Good advocates and attorneys know the law making districts more likely to work with them. But there are no assurances.

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Tim Runner

Expertise

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

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.

Education/Credentials
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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