A new, small painting, as yet untitled.
Tomorrow is our son's CSE meeting, to go over his progress this year and work on his IEP for next fall. I didn't think I was nervous about it, but I realized today I may be a little anxious after all. It's hard not to be nervous when a group of education pros are going to summarize your child's progress for the year, and make recommendations for his first year of junior high school. (Eeep! Junior high?? When did THIS happen??) I'm curious to see what they'll suggest for him academically next year. I'm not sure how they'll assign him to classes, but we'd like to see if they can make it so that he's not with the same bullies for every class like he was this year.
We had a conversation with Safety Guy a couple nights ago, late, after his sister was in bed. He came downstairs and approached me and said, "I'm not trying to be mean, but I'm still upset about you putting me back in school." We talked, and he tried so hard to tell me what he's upset about without getting personal and mean about it to me. We've heard quite a few diatribes from him over the past 9 months, about how I've given up on teaching him, I'm lazy, I just want time to myself, I just want to go get a real job and make money, I don't care that he's being bullied - all very hurtful comments.
There is quite a bit of good in this situation. I'm impressed that he tried to bring up a sensitive, difficult topic without being hurtful. I mean, his Aspergers has most often in the past meant that he shoots from the hip with his criticism, without regard for how it sounds to the recipient of his comments. Being careful of someone else's emotions and trying to respect their point of view is totally foreign to him. I'm equal parts gobsmacked that he's trying to talk about this reasonably, proud of him for making the effort to have an adult conversation, and heartbroken that he is still upset and doesn't fully understand why we had to take the step of having him and his sister return to public school. We explained our reasons to him again, and included in the explanation the fact that my health issues were really interfering with my ability to teach both kids. He got a bit upset part way through the conversation, then pulled it back together and listened. I don't think he really gets it yet, and I'm sure we'll be having this talk again, but I'm still totally impressed that he's even trying to have this discussion, that he initiated it and WANTS to work it out between us. I'm sure on any EQ (Emotional Quotient) scale he'd still score well below average, but I can see that he's making progress empathizing with others, and it's encouraging. Hopefully someday he really will understand, and forgive us.