Where do I begin. A neglected post, I know. I guess I had both so much to say and such a shortage of words to say it that they all became lodged in my throat unable to make their way to the page. I also wanted to be sure to not speak too soon and to allow him to pass through any honeymoon phase as well as possibly "ginxing" the progress that was being made.
All that to say... When I last spoke of Braeden's school issues at the start of the year, we had met as a team and decided to pursue an outside placement. We ended up going to two of the three placements. The first was a BD program at a district approximately 10 miles from us. It seemed like a fine program, but was not for him. The door was non-locking, the "time out" type room was a small room in between their classroom and a regular ed room, with non-locking door to access that room, their was one teacher and one assistant, and they had had previously another student who was a "runner" and it didn't work out. That student ended up at what was our second visiting location. The second school we visited was/is a privately run school focusing on students on the autism spectrum on one "side" and students with varying disabilities (ED, BD, SED, etc) on the other. It was Ah. May. Zing. (If I was looking for a job... I would want to work here!) Doors locked and needed a swipe key to get through. There is a sensory room, a calming room, a kitchen kids help in, a hang out room for kids on higher status, a quiet study room. Staff who are trainers in therapeutic restraint to be used when necessary. Classrooms have a teacher, an assistant, and a counselor. In the room! Student numbers are less than 10! The school holds to five norms which students are required to learn, know, recite, and when one is broken, they must state the norm they broke. When a bad choice is made the students are in a confrontation, they must show control, discuss why they are there, what happened, what norm was broken, and then calmly re-enter where they left off. I was very impressed with all that I saw. The principal is a man from my church (I had had no idea) and I liked all that I heard in talking with him as well. We were originally set up to visit the third placement as well, but received a call from them that this was not a good day. However, after seeing this second school we were all in agreement that it was the right place for Braeden. October 1st I had my fingerprint appointment for our adoption. That afternoon I was back in town and picked up Braeden early from school. The two of us went to visit this school. He "wanted" to go there. (I think it was more of "the grass is always greener", and I DID talk a lot to him about the sensory aspects and the privileges of higher status). He started there on October 2.