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Dakota's story.

When Dakota was 18 months old I started noticing problems, like hyperactivity and different little problems. Fixation on things. Went and talked to his Dr. And they sent us to a mental health facility. The Dr there said he had ADHD and that his primary Dr needed to put him on medication. So that's what they did. As Dakota got older and in school. He had a lot of problems. Fixated on computers. A lot of screaming and yelling. Hitting the principal, getting suspended from school. They finally put him on a I.E.P. and in special ed classes. Problems continued. I knew something else was wrong,but know one would listen to me. In middle school things just got worse and he was starting to get bullied a lot. Then the beginning of his 8th grade year the school phycologists called me and she wanted to know if she could do some test on Dakota. I said yes. I got another phone call to meet with her at the school and it was then that I found out he has autism. I told her I knew something was wrong and know one would listen to me. So we sat down and got a new I.E.P. started for high school. When Dakota entered 10th grade he didn't like a few of his teachers. He would get up a leave the class. His teachers didn't want to deal with him anymore, so they decided to put him in continuation school the following school year. I was told I had no say. Over the summer I decided I would talk to the principal. And he was put in a contained class. He needed structure. The thing that sucks about special ed is when they graduate they only get a certificate of completion. But he went back and he earned his diploma. He will b walking in 2weeks. I am so proud of him. He's 19 years old.

Debbie Hankins
Kingman, AZ