Friday, February 21, 2014

My Little Smarty Pants!

So I had Dakota’s yearly IEP meeting at the school yesterday. For those of you who don’t have a kid with a special need. IEP is just short for Individualized Education Plan. Any child that is behind in any area…whether cognitive, speech, physical, etc. that meets requirements will have an IEP. It is basically just a plan that you set up with individual goals for your child that those that work with him work on throughout the year.

Well, once a year you meet with ALL of the individuals that work on these goals to talk about how they are doing with the goals and what needs to change. For Dakota he has A LOT of goals and A LOT of people that work with him because he has needs in all areas…physical, fine motor, vision, speech/communication, and cognitive. So the room was filled with about 8 people all there to report on how Dakota is doing this year reaching these goals.

I usually go in expecting not to hear anything that is a big surprise since I see improvements in him too and know about where he is at…BUT this meeting was SOOOO amazing and I wanted to cry as I got to hear each of these people talk about how AMAZING Dakota is doing this year and how smart he is.

Each one of them from the second we started just said that Dakota understands EVERYTHING!! He is so mentally there and with it. This of course makes my day because I believe this with all of my heart but it is hard to describe to other people why I think he does understand when they see a little boy that can’t talk or communicate. To know that they see that in him too and that they treat him like he understands means the world to me!!!
The speech person said at literacy time when they read books a lot of the books have subtle humor in them that the other kids in the class don’t get but Dakota gets it and always laughs! I LOVED that because he does have such a fun sense of humor!

His teacher said he knows all of his shapes and colors. I was SO impressed by this!! She knows this because they have him look at a couple shapes and then tell him to look at a certain one and he almost always gets it right. Now she wants to move on to teach him the alphabet…especially the letters in his name.
As she said this the speech therapist that works with him said “Yes…we want him to learn his letters because I really believe that as he gets older he will be able to use communication devices that allow him to spell out words so that he can communicate with you in messages!”
My little heart skipped a beat to hear that she believes in Dakota and that he will be able to do amazing things like this one day!!!

The physical therapist and occupational therapist all commented on how much stronger Dakota is and how much they see him bringing everything together…body, eye tracking, verbalizing, responding, etc.

But the best part of the whole meeting was hearing each one of them say how much they love Dakota and how happy he makes them! That is the greatest compliment of all!!!

I left that meeting with the BIGGEST smile on my face and the HAPPIEST heart ever!! I’m not the only one who is seeing the progress! It was so great to be in a room filled with so many people who love my little boy and are wanting to help him just as much as I do!!

I was SO proud of Dakota!! He will never be on the honor roll or win a trophy for MVP on a sports team BUT his victories are even more amazing to me then that because I know how hard they are for him! They take a lot of work and a lot of time and they are still small and simple but they are AMAZING!!!!



  1. Yay, I am so happy for you. I agree 100% that Dakota knows exactly what is going on. I think he knows way more. I am so glad he has such amazing people that work with him and take care of him. You are amazing and such a great mom!

  2. That is amazing! He is so darn cute and such a smartie!!! You really are such amazing parents!

  3. I got to do respite care with a precious little boy who was deaf/blind when I was in high school. He couldn't talk with his mouth but it was amazing to hold him and feel his spirit communicate. He really was a little angel on earth. I loved him so much…in fact I named my first son after him. I also became a Speech Language Pathologist. I am so impressed with your family and thank you for your example of faith and thriving during trials.

  4. Love this, Tessie! He is an amazing, little man and I'm sure, wise beyond any of our abilities! So exciting to think he will be able to communicate in other ways, with the help of technology...keep up the great work!! {{hugs}}

  5. It is so wonderful you are seeing your little man come into his own once again! Are there any big improvements in Dakota's motor skills?

  6. LOVE THIS! So amazing to hear all the things that are GOOD about your kid when we spend so much time trying not to focus in all the areas they're behind. My son is getting ready to have his IEP for kindergarten (for ASD) and I'm totally stressing about him getting all the services he needs-great to hear your son has such a strong group of people rooting him on and helping! You're a wonderful mommy! :)

  7. This makes me want to cry happy tears with you! I am so proud of both you and Dakota! I wonder if those amazing therapists and teachers know how much their enthusiasm lifts us up.