“Back to School” is in September on most people’s calendars. But for Nigel, it’s the second week of March. At least this year, anyway. That’s when he will be starting back at the middle school for the last three months of eighth grade. The details will be hammered out at his IEP meeting early next week, and I am already preparing my arsenal of points and questions for the team. Nigel had initially indicated some interest in attending his IEP meeting for the first time, but when I brought it up with him earlier this week, he had reconsidered. This got me wondering if he is indeed ready, even with the new medication.
When I picked him up from his social skills class on Monday, his behavioral therapist told me that he’s been doing really well. He walks around the school with her to pick up the other kids who attend the class, and he is comfortable doing that. Wait. This is Big News. Let me reiterate that. He is now comfortable walking around the school. He has come a long way from how he felt just a few months ago, when I wrote this post in October, which describes his fears and anxieties about being back on campus when his weekly social skills class first started.
So as we drove home after class this week, I asked him, “Do you think you’re ready to go back there for two classes a day?”
And this is what he said, in his steady, beautiful voice: “I think I’m ready to go back for a full day.”
Had I not actually been driving the car, I would have had a much harder time regaining my composure. My son is so brave. And my heart leapt just thinking about his indomitable spirit, after all he has endured. But we’re going to start him off with two classes, just to see how it goes. I’m still so concerned about the bullying. He’ll be thrown in with the same kids, and while I’d like to think that in his fifteen-month absence they might have gained some maturity, I’m not betting on it. But I’m hopeful.