I am experienced in administration of IEP's

My personal experience with the IEP process

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.

What is Your IEP situation or expertise?: 

certified educational advocate

I have been a certified educational advocate since l99l and advise parents that signing an IEP does not mean this document is signed in granite. If you rethink your position and have good cause, specific examples of changes to be made, errors, or errors in your thinking, be prepared...write a list of changes, areas needing more discussion or investigation, notify the school team in writing requesting a team meeting to go over your concerns, obtain your clarifications and you may withdraw your approval pending new information, changes in your child's condition or situation.You may feel free to obtain back up from your child's physicians, consultants, independent evaluators or consult directly with the advocacy office for parents in your State or contact the Department of Education/Special Educationin your State for your rights. Taking courses and classes usually free of charge from parent information centers in your State can help you avoid problems and will offer support from parents and professionals as you negotiate your way through special education. Esther Ross, certified educational advocate, Nashua, New Hampshire PS. My new book on caregiving will be helpful too...it can be found through ther messgae at the bottom.Good luck.

"Fast Track for Caregivers" is now available. $29.95 plus $4 (S&H). www.rosstrumpublishing.com. Paypal accepted

What is Your IEP situation or expertise?: 


I have been a teacher for 12 years and have been involved in many IEP's for my students. When I first began teaching, I was very naive about the process. Now that I have sent students through the Student StudyTeam and have requested IEP's and seen the truth about what an IEP really offers, I am completely against them. First off all, when a student has an IEP, the teacher is entitled to a minumum of 1 monthly 30 minute consultation with the Special Education Resource Specialist and any other specialist the child is working with. With all the students I have taught with IEP's I've had to fight for that time and rarely get it. Second, many times I have specifically requested push-in services vs. pull-out services so the child/children can receive support in class with grade level content vs. watered down curriculum. That has been nearly impossible. Many times the instruction students receive in these "pull-out sessions" is not even close to what the children need because they are receiving instruction based on assessments that are up to 3 months old. As educators and parents know, children are always changing. For example, 2 years ago when one of my IEP students needed support with reading because she had difficulty with auditory processing and tracking, the resource specialist was providing reading instruction about 4 reading levels below her actual guided reading level. This was insane because in class she was already learning beyond the instruction she was receiving with the specialist.
In short, the system in place at my school and the specialist were not working for the students. When systems that perpetuate failure are accepted as a source of support, people need to push back and question the system. The more parents and teachers unite to question what our children are truly receiving and how we can provide authentic support that works, the sooner we can get back to ensuring success for all students.

What is Your IEP situation or expertise?: 

My son and his IEP story...

Aww yes...IEP's. Where shall I begin? First, I put my expertise as experienced in the administration of IEP's because my son has had an IEP for 9 years. I think for me, I would count as experienced.

I do not regret the IEP, nor does it make me happy. I feel that the IEP is widely overused today in our school systems; I suppose it is “easier” in some cases, however, some children do in fact need them, as my son does. He was diagnosed at 4 years old w/ ADHD, and was re-diagnosed in his preteens with ADD/Bipolar Disorder. He has almost no fine motor skills, lacks short term memory almost completely among many other things. What a roller coaster ride it has been for him, but he is a trooper.

The best thing learned for me was, be my child’s ADVOCATE. I have stayed informed about my kid’s medical condition. Nobody knows my child more than I do. There will be teachers, administrators and mentors that may care or work with my child, but this is my child. If I do not feel that something is right or will or will not work for him, I say so. It cannot happen if I refuse to sign those papers. Period. I am open and honest with his Pediatrician and private councilors about everything, much to my son’s embarrassment sometimes. I will NEVER sign medical release forms for the school district to have access to my child’s medical records. Neither medical nor psychiatric. They are a school system not a healthcare system. When they persist, I tell them I will hand deliver any info to and fro.

I remember my sons first IEP like it was yesterday. Walking into a room with administrators all around the table looking at me, very awkward. This was all new to me too. They make their “professional” suggestions, as they should, as to what they feel is best for your child educationally, behaviorally, and socially. I left that meeting and was angry at myself for being so timid.

What is Your IEP situation or expertise?: