A little background for the record: Frankie has been giving everyone the hardest time at school. This year he is just set on a "civil disobedience" rampage and is out there to defy, defeat and prove to all that he does not need to go to school....he knows already and he is done learning. Yeah, it sounds funny but it's not at all - it's actually pretty frustrating for everyone involved. His teachers are great educators and will go along with any and all strategies we put in place to help them get Frankie to follow their instructions but Mr. Smarty Pants is a hand full. Here is our conversation as we drive to school:
Frankie: "why are YOU taking me to school again? I told you I don't need to go anymore, I am done."
Me: "No, you are not done, you don't know how to read, you don't know how to write and you need to learn this stuff"
Frankie: "I hate school. They make me drink milk at lunch everyday."
Me: "you have your juice in your back pack, you don't have to drink the milk"
Frankie: "....I still hate it. Why are you taking me there...I told you I don't need to go anymore!"
And there it starts again. Every morning, every week, since Sept. 1st, until today.
We know the usual things that work with most kids will not work with Frankie...we just need to try different ones and fail; and try again and fail again...until one day, we try the ONE thing that will light up those wonderful eyes and we can get him on board with us. His therapist calls that "engaging" him but I call it SPARK! Once I see that spark in his face I know we have hit the jackpot - we reached the wonderful Frankie that hides behind that defiant kid - the one that can learn and can teach, the one that has changed our lives.
Really, get him to obey and follow directions? really? that's it? that's the challenge we have this year? Man, and here I was so worried about his social interaction with typical children - I was so scared that he would be the lonely kid who nobody talks to, who nobody notices...well, no worries there, because all the kids recognize him, welcome him, greet him by his name when he arrives, they ask him to join their games and activities - it's just great to see he is accepted and that he is not going to be lonely. Now, If I can get him to WANT to go school, that would be the beginning of a journey that might just change this world. I am convinced he will touch many lives because he already has, now it's just a matter of not getting tired, getting on that van every morning and enduring the same conversation about how he is so perfect and he does not need to go school....
I think this would be EASY-PIECIE-LEMON-SQUEEZIE, Frankie boy!