Saturday, April 18, 2015

It's the time again - IEP Review! How is Jacob's Progress?

The last day of school before Spring Break, it was time to meet with all of Jacob's Therapists to go over his latest progression.

Jacob and his juice.  Drinks are his Kryptonite!I'd just finished Courtney's parent-teacher conference, which took a whopping ten minutes, so I figured Jake's might take about twenty.  I left the building an hour later.  Whoa.  How do I forget how in depth these things are?

In their defense, most of the stuff I either already knew, because I was dealing with it at home, or it was positive.  There's just a whole lot of ground to cover when you need to review Jake's progress with four people instead of one.

For occupational therapy, they discussed how he's learning to button things.  I politely informed her that this was a skill I would NOT be encouraging at home, because Jake's inability to unbutton his shirts are the only reason why he is clothed AT ALL at home.  They laughed.  I did too. But I was serious.  That kid is like Houdini with his clothes.  Shoes off on the bus, pants off the minute he gets inside the door, and if I'm stupid enough to put on a T-shirt, that thing is off in 5 minutes or less.  Then I spend the next 5 minutes running after a seriously FAST 4-year-old boy as his laughter echoes off the stairwell while he escapes my reach.

A circle on the wall.  Proof that his occupational therapy is working.
Jake's occupational therapy is working! Look at that circle!
Next, we talked about how Jake has gotten pretty doggoned good at drawing circles, but they're still working on the cross shape.  I agreed.  I informed the ladies that you know you're a parent with a special needs child when you look at the walls ready to scream, but stop when you see a perfect circle drawn on your wall in sharpie and marvel at how beautiful it is (thank goodness it was in the laundry room!).

The physical therapist told me how Jake is getting better at following directions.  When he first started with them, they'd go into the gym for PE and he'd stare off at the walls marveling at the giant mascots painted on the walls.  Now he will sit, participate, and pay attention.  I agreed.
 Picture courtesty of  Geri @ EACAP

Jake's ability to follow instruction (better, but not perfect) is the one aspect of his development I'd noticed the most in the past several months.  When we started at the school, we were expected to wait outside by the street for the bus to arrive, which wound up being 5-10 minutes of me either grabbing him to keep Jake from running into oncoming traffic, or holding his flailing body because he wanted to RUN!  Now, he and I will stand in the driveway and play.  He knows that the road is off limits and that he needs to stay on the driveway until the bus stops and the doors open.  It makes the bus portion of school so much easier on me now that he can follow instructions and knows some basic rules.
Picture courtesy of Geri @ EACAP
Speech therapy was the most entertaining, though.  It seems that Jake likes to pick his favorites and his least favorites.  With his least favorites, I swear he knowingly and willingly makes their lives miserable all day, every day.  At Children FIRST, it was poor Shawn, Jake's Physical Therapist.  I adored her, but for some reason, Jake was stubborn as stubborn can be.  She would often talk about Jake's Downsitude (Down syndrome attitude).  And it is TRUE.  That boy is stubborn beyond belief.  I know ultimately that stubbornness will enable him to persevere as an adult.  As a child, it's annoying as HECK.    Back to the story....Jake's speech therapist is his new focus of his "Downsitude".  He won't enunciate anything for her, or even make a sound.  I tell her about what he's doing at home, and her eyes get wide.  "He's not doing that here."  Figures.  Jake can be such a goober sometimes.

Picture courtesty of Geri @ EACAP
And, just to make his point, as we were leaving his meeting, I asked him to say "bye" to the ladies, so he turned around, waved his hand and said, "bye-bye", which was met with several squeals from the ladies as he walked out the hall and out the door to celebrate a 1-week spring vacation from school. :)