I am the parent of a 30 year old son with Cerebral Palsy. My experience with IEP's started 29 years ago. At fist I was quite intimidated because of the many individuals that where involved with the process. There were doctors, therapists,, teachers, VMRC, CCS, and the list went on. Sometimes there were 15 persons involved with the parent and child on one end and the rest with their paperwork and "epertise" telling you what is best for your child.
I learned early on that the only important person for you child is you. The parent is the childs advocate and with the suggestions from the professional and the imput from the parent who know and lives with the child then and only then could you formulate a plan that was appropriate for YOUR CHILD!
I have refulsed to sign many IEP's. The key is READ AND UNDERSTAND before signing and do not be afraid to change or challenge anything on the IEP.
While working for Stockton Unified School District I was trained as a "Surrogate Parent" I would meet and accompany parents and child to the IEP meetings.
I would help the parents ask the necessary questions and explain andy part of the IEP that they did not understand. I would then read and go over everything with the parents before anything was signed. If necessary, like I did was I took the paperwork home to study and then would meet again and make changes before signing.
Now that my son is an adult I am now going to IPP's. It never ends. My son's next IPP is 9/18/09.