It has been three weeks since I have written an update on my son and school. There were a lot of things going through my mind that day as we took him to his new school. I was concerned about how difficult it would be to try to explain to him that we would be leaving him that day and not seeing him for two weeks. To describe his eating as picky would be a severe understatement, so there were major concerns about him eating while he was out there.
Surprisingly, getting him to the school was much easier than I anticipated. Saying goodbye wasn't, and I don't think he understood when I told him that I would see him in two weeks for Thanksgiving. With me being the worrier that I am, I called the school every evening to get an update on how he was doing. The initial reports that we got that first week were encouraging. He tried a couple new foods like hash browns and some salad. His teacher said he was adjusting to the schedule and working well in class.
At the time, I considered writing a post about my adjusting to his being gone. When he is here, he basically dominates the television. It is rare that I get to watch what I want on television, when I want to watch it, and without interruption. Then there is the issue of buying him all the food that we buy special for him. In addition to the benefit he would get from being at the proper educational facility, there were benefits to me in terms of my personal leisure and savings on the weekly grocery bill. Still, the bottom line was that I missed him immensely.
His first weekend at the school was a bit more difficult for him. He prefers to stay home on the weekends, and watch TV, play video games, and surf the internet. The school plans a lot of weekend outings and activities, which he shows no interest in. They do have socials where they play music and have dancing. He really enjoys and looks forward to those.
When the second week of school started, he had a difficult time getting back into the routine, but had a another good week of classwork. Towards the end of the week, he started to have a lot more difficulty, especially in the eating department. By the end of the second weekend, I was extremely worried because he had basically stopped eating and drinking entirely. It became a concern at school as well, as they had us pick him up a day earlier than the original Tuesday pick up date.
He has been home almost a week now. As soon as we picked him up, he started drinking again, and he has been eating his usual fare since he has been home. Tonight, he and I went out to Watkins Regional Park in PG County, MD to see the Winter Festival of Lights. It has become something of a Thanksgiving weekend tradition for the two of us. As we were driving home, he looked over at me and said, "No school tomorrow, Daddy."
Tomorrow is the day we are supposed to take him back to school. They are having a Christmas party. When we picked him up last week, he talked about coming back to school and going to the party. However, based on his response coming back from the Festival of Lights, I have a feeling we will have a difficult time tomorrow. More importantly though, is the eating. This time, he is not supposed to come home until just before Christmas, almost four full weeks.
I am not sure what will happen over the next four weeks. The one thing I know for sure, is that it will be another four weeks of worry on my part. I am not sure what will happen if he stops eating and drinking again. He obviously needs to drink and eat. He also needs to adjust to his new situation. My son, even with his disability, is a bright child. If he thinks he can continue to manipulate the situation and get to go home by not eating and drinking, he will display those behaviors. Pray for us.