So, the official week one at the New School came to an end. It was an up and down week - a few triumphs scattered with lots of time in the chill-out room to calm down. Only one phone call home on Wednesday, a result.
Then came Friday.
My phone rang at about 1pm yesterday. I'm used to the phone ringing when The Boy is at school. It's something that has happened consistently since he went to his first Reception class all those years ago. It was Mr Teacher.
"I phone you when things are going wrong, so I thought I'd phone you when things are going right. He's having a brilliant day. No hitting, no biting, he's stayed in class all day, I'm really proud of him."
Now I should have been delighted. I should have shouted from the rooftops. But after years of being told he's always doing the wrong thing, all I could think was "bit premature there Teech... still another two and a half hours. Plenty of time..."
At the end of school The Boy came out of the gate. And there on his jumper was a sticker. 'Gold Award'. And the romantic in me likes to think he was walking a little bit taller too. He gets into the car and I read his home-school diary. At assembly this week he won the Gold Award for "Making good choices and controlling his actions". I asked him if it made him feel happy. He started stammering, looking for the words that never seem to come when we talk about emotions of any kind. After an age, he blurted out "it made me feel like I was crying inside". And we both just sat, silent, not sure who was more amazed that these words had tumbled out of him.
I won't keep going on about New School any more after this post... All this gushing seems far too out of character. Today is Toenail Cutting Day, that should bring things back down to earth. But Mr Teacher has taught Dad a valuable lesson too this week. He's taught him to believe in his son a bit more. And last night when The Boy went to bed I added his Gold Award to the two certificates on the fridge door.
And Dad cried a little bit too. On the inside, of course.
This blog is about bringing up The Boy. He's 12 years old and autistic. It's written by The Dad. It's my words, my view. Other people will think differently and have different opinions. Good.