In sixteen days (woohoo!), The Boy starts school. We had lunch with his teacher last week (she's a gem)- she has BIG plans for The Boy.
In case this is the first post you've read about The Boy, he has been diagnosed with both Bipolar Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), which is on the Autism spectrum. He has a tough row to hoe some days.
He currently attends a day treatment program in our district. That means he has a VERY small class, and LOTS of attention from his teacher and an aide. He also has group and individual therapy as part of his regular school day.
His teacher would like to see him have his behavior under control the first half of this school year in her class. If she sees that he is ready, he can begin to transition back into the regular classroom in the second semester. The last time he was in regular Ed, he was in 6th grade; now he's starting 8th.
I've seen him mature a bit since we've been in MO (he's certainly gotten taller, and is in the throes of adolescence at 14); I'd love for him to get his act together enough to get out of Special Ed and get to have a more 'normal' school experience. If he can maintain his self-control and practice good social skills (refrain from insulting people - he thinks it's funny, and learn to keep his temper in check), he still has subject-related stuff to do to prepare. He'd have to relearn how to do homework (academics haven't been the focus of his time at school the last couple of years), how to study, how to carry 79 pounds of stuff in a backpack and still look cool.
If he's successful and able to transition, that means that NEXT Fall, he'd be entering high school! Just imagine: high school dances, drama club (he IS the Drama King, after all), attending sporting events, participating in fundraisers (ick) for any groups he may get involved in. I'd love for him to be able to find friends, and have a social life (I'm too old to keep being his playdate).
I know most parents say that it all goes so fast...with The Boy, not so much. Each and every year has had its share of joys and challenges. It seems like we've been doing this forever.
Actually I HAVE been doing this forever. My oldest daughter started Kindergarten in 1981, my younger daughter in 1984. Damn, they're old!
So if I do my math right, I've had one child or more in some sort of school, from preschool to college, since 1979! Thirty freakin' years - and we're not done yet.
I know that The Boy can accomplish this task, if he sets his mind to it, and learns that some things are better left unsaid. We have many teachable moments every day to practice self-control. I'm sure he's quite tired of hearing me say the word "inappropriate", as I am so, so tired of saying it. But it must be done.
And in sixteen more days, he can put that practice to the test, and make more positive changes in his life.
There are a lot of people rootin' for him.