1. Your child is NOT entitled to the BEST special education.
As a parent, you must eliminate the word "best" from your vocabulary when you discuss your child's educational needs. Remember: Your child is entitled to an appropriate education. not to the best education, nor to an education that will maximize your child's potential.
To understand these concepts - FAPE v. maximizing or "best" - read Loving Parents Want What's "Best" For Child - School Only Needs to Provide "Appropriate Program".
2. Parent testimony carries little weight in the eyes of hearing officers and judges.
Loving parents are biased. Parents want the best education for their children with disabilities. Testimony from parents about what their child needs is not persuasive and rarely carries the day.
3. School staff will testify that their program is appropriate about 99% of the time.
At least 99% of the time, school staff will testify that their program is appropriate and the best program for the child. (Note: School staff can and do use the word "best," but parents cannot.)
4. Parents must have experts who know the child and who are willing to educate the IEP team about the child's unique needs and what an appropriate program must include to meet these needs.
If you have a dispute with the school, you need to have experts in the private sector who have evaluated and observed your child. Experts must never use the terms "best" or "maximizing potential" in their reports or testimony.
Read the article about "appropriate" programs and the caselaw that supports this concept.