Autism Speaks recently published an IEP Guide for parents. It looks like a clearly written guide that includes some letter templates that parents can use when communicating with their school district. It is quite a bit of information so it may be overwhelming to parents new to the special education world. I think the best way for parents to understand the special education process is to talk to parents that have already been through the process. Our district has a Parent Support Network that connects parents of special education students for this purpose. If you are a parent new to special education, check with your school district or regional center to see if they have a similar program that will connect you with fellow parents.