One of the biggest issues that Parents routinely bring to me is the issue of consent to their child's IEP. The situation frequently occurs where you've just had a long meeting with a lot of information presented, and then the IEP administrator plops down the consent page in front of you for signature. As a parent, you're not sure about all the information you've heard, but you feel tremendous pressure with a table full of people staring at you. What do you do?
The majority of parents, in my experience, sign right then and there whether or not they understand or agree. If you've been in that situation, trust me you are not alone.
As a parent, you are the most valuable member of the IEP team (according to both federal and CA state law). You have to be afforded meaningful participation in all IEP meetings, which means your full understanding and agreement with all provisions. Unfortunately, many times this doesn't occur for whatever reason.
I advise all my clients, and anyone who I speak to on this topic, to take the IEP document (along with any and all assessments) home with them to review prior to signing their consent. This doesn't necessarily mean to have them reviewed by an attorney, but just to go over them in more detail so that you understand all provisions. If you have specific questions, write them down and ask for a follow up IEP meeting to discuss them. That way, when you sign consent, you are providing consent and agreement rather than just feeling pressured into signing at the end of a long meeting.
The Economou Law Group has extensive experience in reviewing IEP documents, assessment reports and records for children with all disabilities. If you feel that an attorney review is necessary, we offer free record review and consultation. Call us today at (626) 765-9607.