* Change is in the air

Here's some good news: Friday I met the Kind Gentleman who is conducting Rio's Functional Behavior Assessment for the school district. I liked him right away because he"gets" Rio. Thank goodness! I'm tired of people demonizing my son. This guy would belly laugh while sharing amusing anecdotes about how Rio outsmarted his teacher in creative ways. It was interesting to listen to his observations in the classroom and how he interacts with his teacher, something I haven't had the opportunity to witness very much. It sounds like Rio's teacher, well-intentioned though she may be, has never really succeeded in winning his respect. Her authority just doesn't mean much to him. Rio is a take-charge kinda boy, so if you give him an inch he'll take a mile. And he's gotten some real mileage out of this, to be sure. Hey, I tried to warn her.

So I have renewed confidence in the process and this transition in general. But it's a bittersweet feeling, too, because it makes me angry to realize that the school could (should) have requested this assessment long ago, so they could have given him more hope of success at that school. Which only cements my suspicions that they've just been trying to get rid of him from the very beginning. Rather than doing whatever was within their means to help him succeed, they set about building a damning case against him until they got what they wanted: Rio is somebody's else's problem now.

So this week is when we break the news to Hercules that he won't be attending school with his familiar classmates any longer. When the principal told me the news, she and the counselor explained that they don't want Rio to feel rejected or punished and they want to break it to him as gently as possible so that he understands that this was done for his best interest and that his new school will be a better place for him. While I agree with their sentiment, I don't think I can sit there and listen to their bullshit with a smiling face while they tell him so many lies. Because the truth is that he is being rejected and punished, and they can tell him whatever they please, but he's not stupid.

The problem is, which I explained to the Kind Gentlemen in a teary confessional, that when they first started threatening to kick him out, I used that as leverage against Rio out of pure desperation. I told him that if he likes it at his school, he needs to cooperate with his teachers or they won't let him stay there. Now I desperately wish I had never uttered those words, but as the Kind Gentleman pointed out, what's done is done. There's no going back.

So I think I will let the school counselor break it to him on her own. I had initially agreed to be there, but I'm not so sure that's a good idea anymore. I'm too emotional about all this and I'm bound to cry. I don't really think that would do Rio any good. And I also feel like the onus should be on the school to sugarcoat this situation which they have orchestrated all along. If he cries and falls apart, let them see his anguish. I think they should reap what they have sown. For my part, I will tell him the truth: That school was not right for him, and they never gave him enough help or enough chances to succeed. His new school wants to help him in every way and he will get whatever he needs to do well. It will be a great improvement and I'm very grateful that he'll be leaving his old school.

That's the my truth and I'm sticking to it.

Oh! I almost forgot, Hercules earned a trip to McDonald's on Friday! He had a stellar week, which I think is a great sort of Fuck You to his teacher and principal right before he leaves. As for me, I'll try to talk him into another venue for his next treat. Going through the McDonalds' drive thru makes me feel like a priest in a porn store. It's sacreligious!

I must really love that boy, that's all I can say.


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