Meet our Practice Founder

Kim Lechner Kids First Collaborative IEP Consultant Chicago Illinois

Kimberly melton Lechner, Ph.D.

Dr. Kimberly Melton Lechner has a Professional Educator License (PEL) in School Psychology and School Administration. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) who is also nationally board certified (NCC). She completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, a Master of Arts in School Psychology at Governors State University, and a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision at Northern Illinois University. Additionally, Dr. Lechner trained as a professional mediator at Northwestern University. Dr. Lechner has spent the past fifteen years working primarily as a School Psychologist and a Student Services/Special Education Administrator in K-12 school districts. During her tenure, she twice received the Those Who Excel Award in the team category from the Illinois State Board of Education. Additionally, she was honored to receive the Crystal Apple- Champion For Children Award for her work as a student services administrator.  Dr. Lechner has provided leadership and staff development in school districts with respect to Special Education, Response to Intervention, Multi-tiered Systems of Support, and Social and Emotional Learning Initiatives.  She has facilitated countless IEP meetings related to a wide range of complex student issues. She’s supported both families and school staff as they’ve navigated disagreements and worked collaboratively to support student learning.

Dr. Lechner has co-authored several publications in the fields of counseling and psychology, and she's presented at both state and national conferences. She has considerable experience teaching masters and doctoral level students in clinical mental health and psychology programs. Dr. Lechner is passionate about her clinical work as a therapist and enjoys training and supervising other counselors. She has a special interest in supporting mothers of children with complex medical needs and other disabilities.

Dr. Lechner is deeply engaged in advocacy efforts on behalf of children with special needs both locally and nationally. Specifically, she co-facilitates the Student Services Parent Advisory Council and volunteers as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee for Special Education for her local school district. Dr. Lechner serves as a one to one parent mentor for Feeding Matters where she coaches parents of children with Pediatric Feeding Disorders. She also serves on Feeding Matter's Family Advisory Council. Additionally, she is a member of the Family Advisory Board for Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Dr. Lechner's work is inspired by her five-year-old daughter as well as the beautiful children, families, and educators with whom she's been blessed to share her journey.

Special Education Advocate IEP Consultant Chicago Illinois

Professional Publications

  • Lechner, K. M. (2017). Implementing Social and Emotional Learning Standards in a High School Setting: A Case Study. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.

  • Carlson, J., Snow, K., & Melton, K. (2004). Family Treatment of Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder. In M. M. MacFarlane (Ed.), Family Treatment of Personality Disorders: Advances in Clinical Practice, (pp. 241-272). New York: Haworth Press.

  • Sperry, L., Carlson, J., Kjos, D., & Melton, K. (2003). Becoming an Effective Therapist: Student Handbook, Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

  • Wilson, S. G., Smith, S. B., Chesler, E. J., Melton, K. A., Haas, J. J., Mitton, B., Strasburg, K. J., Hubert, L., Rodriguez-Zas, S. L., & Mogil, J. S. (2003). The Heritability of Antinociception: Common Pharmacogenetic Mediation of Five Neurochemically Distinct Analgesics. Journal of Experimental Therapeutics, 304, 547-559.

  • Carlson, J., Kjos, D., Snow, K., & Melton, K. (2002). Theories and Strategies of Family Therapy: Student Handbook. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

  • Wilson, S. G., Mitton, B. A., Haas, J. J., Melton, K. A., & Mogil, J. S. (2000). The Heritability of Pain Inhibition: Pharmacogenetic Mediation of Multiple Analgesic Modalities. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 26:2189.

  • Wilson, S. G., Melton, K. A., Wickesburg, R. E., & Mogil, J. S. (1999). Strain Dependent Antinociception from the Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist, WIN 55, 212-2. Society of Neuroscience Abstracts, 25:924.

Special Education Advocate IEP Consultant Chicago Illinois

Conference Presentations

  • Lechner, K. M., Saxe, D., Altschuler, A., & Schroeder, A. (2011). Bringing SEL to Life in One Illinois High School. Presentation at the National Association of School Psychologists Conference, San Francisco, CA.

  • Lechner, K. M. (2007). Implementing Evidenced Based Practice, Presented at Illinois Counseling
    Association Conference, Tinley Park, IL

  • Lechner, K. M., & Lechner, M. J. (2006). How Does Illinois Law Impact Counseling Practice?
    Illinois Counseling Association Conference, Springfield, IL.

Special Education Advocate IEP Consultant Chicago Illinois

Professional Association Memberships

  • National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

  • Illinois School Psychologists Association (ISPA)

  • American Counseling Association (ACA)

  • Association for Counselor Educators and Supervisors (ACES)

  • Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPPA)