We found out yesterday that Benjy can stay at the Joy School for the time being, in spite of its high price tag. In these days of reduced school budgets, that's saying something.
We should have bought a bottle of champagne to celebrate but our emotions were all over the place and we were actually kind of down. We'd been hoping to hear that Ben was set for at least another full year. That did not happen, and in fact, we will have to visit some other schools this spring, "in case we find an alternative, less restrictive option for next year." Of course, you could plug in "less expensive" for "less restrictive" and I think you'd be onto something, but whatever the reason, the thought of pulling Ben from this place that has made his life worth living, that has taught him there's joy to be found in institutions of learning, that it's possible to find yourself enveloped in a web of social connections when you're a pupil, is unbearable. We simply cannot go back to where we were a couple of months ago, where we had been for many previous years.
The good news is that there's no thought of making him return to our public school district. Our school district has a suicide problem ( five or six over the past six years -- I know, it's shocking). A boy who has a long history of suicidality and a district that somehow finds itself mourning dead students again and again, do not mix. I can only hope the SPED director will never suggest to us that Benjy go back to the public schools here. I'm not sure what I would say in response but it won't be pretty.
So here we are, with at least five months more at the Joy School. I wish I had some spare dough for a bottle of champagne. Oh well, there's always Kool Aid.