My colleague TJ Thurston wrote an interesting article titled Special Education is not about Revenge
My take: The post is essentially right. Not matter what it looks like on the surface, all IEP disputes are about the plan to educate your child. Trying to fight about other issues is very difficult to accomodate in the IEP process. When there are problems, changing the plan might include the school district providing, paying for, or reimbursing you for additional services. Or it might involve a new teacher or placement. But if your thinking is not focused on the plan for educating your child, you might not be focusing directly on the school district's obligations under the IDEA. And that will make it difficult to compel the district to change its behavior.
In other news, Autism Speaks has invited me to speak at 9 am on September 15 at their office about IEP basics. I will be speaking about general issues in the IEP process that are applicable even if your child does not have Autism. Attendance is free, but Austism Speaks asks that you RSVP here.