We are in that part of the Special Education Life that could be called 'holding pattern.'
A school has been found. We saw the school. Charlie visited the school. Having gone through the piles of documents (BIPs, IEPs, progress reports, email and snail mail correspondence that accumulate when your child has been in specialed since he was 2 years old in St.Paul), the behaviorist came on Friday to evaluate Charlie.
Jim and Charlie have settled into a two-bike-ride-a-day (20 miles) routine, with a sit-down at McDonalds inbetween. The first ride takes them (via this amazing bike trail that we just happen to live beside) to Richmond (once a town of shipyards that endured a huge population depletion after World War II), the second into Berkeley. Inbetween comes a visit to my parents' house. In the evening is, generally, another visit. Last night, we tried eating at another Chinese restaurant at my family; it proved overly much (dishes flew). Charlie it comendably contained -- this boy is living in total uncertainty in regard to everything but those bike rides.
We've heard that Charlie might start at the school the week after next. He hasn't been officially given a spot.
Charlie gets to go to school a full extra year here in California -- till he is 22. In New Jersey, our case manager had told us point-blank, after his 21st birthday came, he would no longer be our former school district's responsibility.
In other words, it was anxiety there about Charlie's fate and, even though he was so settled and happy at the Big Autism School, as we all knew it was a place where there was an expiration date, we are more than glad to be out here (anxiety and all) and figuring out the whole school placement issue again, while making calls to set up services with Alameda County, looking for an afterschool program and finding that Jersey politics are as interesting as ever to follow when you're on the other coast.