Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Today is David's annual IEP...

So I wrote up a little blurp for our meeting and thought I'd share it with you. What a blessing he is! And we are so blessed by his teachers, assistants, doctors and therapists!!

November 13, 2007
An update on David…

David turned five on the fourth of July. We had a Sneetches birthday party at the park to celebrate. David is part of our family and loves to play at the park, eat chocolate chip pancakes (soften by lots of syrup, of course) and cruise around the house exploring. We are so pleased with his progress this year.

David walks around by holding onto furniture. He is increasingly confident and will let go for 10-15 seconds at a time. When there is nothing to hold onto, David eases himself on the ground and scoots to the next area he wants to explore. We have been thrilled by increased independence and zest for checking out new situations.

David continues to eat a wide variety of food, mostly blended. He still does not chew consistently, so we avoid giving him anything too tough. He has made wonderful progress with bringing the spoon from his bowl to his mouth. It’s messy, but productive. He needs help returning the spoon to the bowl.

David communicates through body language and vocal noises. We have notice a marked increase in his deliberate communication. For example, when hungry, he will go over to his highchair, stand up and tug on it while fussing. He is also increasingly responsive to his family and friends. When he sees his brother, he lights up and gets very silly.

Speaking of silly, David is a fun loving, silly guy much of time. He loves to be tickled and kissed. He is a great snuggler and an expert mess-maker. His friends at school, church and home are very accepting of David and his differences. They often bring him toys and make sure to give him hugs. He sleeps well at night and naps about an hour each afternoon.

We are concerned by David’s sensitive immune system and dread ‘the sniffles’, which sometimes turn into bronchitis or pneumonia. We consistently give him breathing treatments and try to keep his hands germ-free.

We are so blessed by wonderful teachers, assistants, doctors and therapists. We cannot overstate the positive impact they have had on his life and how grateful we are! We look forward to another year of great strides and silliness.

Warmly, Stephen and Lisa Leonard


Dandelions & Daisies Photography said...

What a wonderful letter. I love the pictures of your boys together, you can see the strong bond they have and the love. You are a wonderful family and to see David thrive the way he does with the love and support of his family and friends is truly a beautiful thing :)

michele said...

What a joy it would be to have you as a parent at an IEP! I've never had any parent write up a letter about their child like that at an IEP before. You are such a great example, Lisa!
David has progressed so much! How fun to see him becoming more independent.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing!

Jane said...

Hi! I have never left a comment but I love to check in on your blog and read about your beautiful boys and admire your beautiful jewelry.
I also happen to be a physical therapist who works in an educational setting.
Have you ever worked on sign language as part of a "total communcation program" with David? If so, I was wondering if it has been successful. I work with a student with CdLS and she communicates fabulously with sign.

Have a wonderful day!

Kristen said...

What a beautiful letter! I teared up reading - you can feel your love and pride in every word. Way to go David, keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful letter. There is no doubt that God has placed David in a wonderful family. You are SO proud of him - there can be no doubt in anyone's mind about that!

If you weren't so busy making awesome jewelry, i would suggest you consider doing more writing. (P.S. I emailed you earlier re: the possibilty of making something "manly" for my boyfriend...a keychain, etc. Men need gifts too! :) )

Ellen said...

Love the letter. Love to hear about David's progress. Keep on keeping on!

Karen said...

What a wonderful letter! What a busy guy David is! Reading about David and your family gives me so much hope for Ben's future.

hannah m said...

Beautifully written. What a tribute to David and the love that's clearly flowing in your family. I love marking my daughter's life by writing letters to her each month--it's important to me to slow down and really think about what's going on--because time passes so quickly!

Sol said...

I wrote a whole bunch here...;-}, but then I wasn`t able to post it....for some reason. Just wanted to say that I recieved the necklace today,that I ordered from you. And I am so happy. I love it,it`s beautiful. So interesting to read your post today. I too, like the photos of your two sons together,they seem so close. I am so happy for his progress. Beeing a teacher I know how important that is. Take good care of you and your family. I am sure that I would like to order more from you.
Warm hugs.

Karyn said...

I absolutely loved it when I had a parent write a letter about their child for an IEP. I think it only happened once. Your letter is wonderful. How did the IEP go?

Alesha said...


What a great idea to write this letter! It is good to give folks at the IEP a well-rounded concept of David, outside the technical jargon that usually abounds.

I work at a pediatric rehab clinic. We just had a little girl come through our intensive PT program a few months back. She had CdLS, too. Her name was "Breeze"!!! Isn't that beautiful? And she was a "breeze" - of fresh air, of giggles and smiles, and she was such a hard worker for the therapist too! :-) I'm glad I met her, so that I know a little bit more about David.

I'm amazed at your calmness of spirit when you talk about David. Some days I would just get so frustrated with myself - trying to do too much in one day, usually, for Isaac's care. Now that Doug stays home with him, I have a "break" from it, but then I miss him so much while I'm at work!

These little one's of ours are gifts from the Father. Each day He gives what we need for that day. It's amazing, isn't it?

Well, I'm so excited about my necklace! I know it will be spectacular!

Hope your day is great!

Laura said...

I happen to hop from blog to another blog. When you mentioned, "David's annual IEP," it immediately stopped me from there for two reasons. I am a special education teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing. Second, I am a deaf mom of a hearing high function autistic son. I immediately started signing to him and encouraged him to use sign language with us. He does occasionally with us. But the most important is that it enhances every special need child to communicate in sign language: expressive and receptive.

As a mother of autistic, we both know NOT to give up anything you want David to learn. I would applaud you because you know it also includes you for helping David to become more independently gradually.

Victoria said...

What a lovely letter.

Mandy said...

You have no idea who I am, but from browsing through your blog, it seems as though you have lots of readers like me. I became aware of your blog from my sister-in-law is the biggest blog hopper of them all. She mentioned about having to ask her husband what an IEP was and that immediately caught my attention. I too have my very own angel in my home. His name is Caleb and he is seven years old. He is a twin and we found out while in utero he would have hydrocephalus. They were born 10 weeks early at 2 1/2 pounds each. And so began our journey. He has many issues that make up who he is. He is also nonverbal, G-tube fed and absolutely the cutest thing I have ever seen. You put into words many of my thoughts, and I just wanted to thank you for the glimpse into your lives. I also noticed that your husband is a cyclist--as is mine. He has gotten into it pretty heavily. The last two years he has done the LOTOJA bike race from Logan, UT to Jackson Hole WY. It has been fun to go and support him. Sorry for the rambling, but I had to let you know that I was touched by your words.

GeorgiaBelleBoutique said...

What a great letter. David is such a cutey. He is actually a couple weeks older than my Connor. He turned 5 this past July 20th. Your family is very blessed.