as to what to do about school for J. It's not about some philosophical debate I have going on about types of school, it's about what would help J thrive and blossom. Just recently, some theme - new - has emerged about how others don't want to play with him. When I ask about it, it seems to be centred on a group of older boys saying no when he asks if he can play with them, particularly one boy. This boy is also something of a strong character and I think... just guessing, I really don't know... he is also jealous about J playing sometimes with another older boy in the village who doesn't go to the school. It was at the time that J and this other boy started playing that the first one started being nasty. So... I don't want to get involved in children's disputes or start basing serious decisions on them, but I am getting a sense that J is being somewhat marginalised at the school. The teacher is, I am beginning to feel, really something of a hypocrite. She pays lip service to me about understanding J's issues and difficulties, but I don't think she does at all in reality. She scolds and punishes him all the time... and J, being greatly sensitive in the way of our difficult children, really feels this deeply and sees himself as bad, naughty. I think the other children may well be picking up on this, on J's difference - his difference in all sorts of ways. He does have friends he plays with, but this new theme of social exclusion is worrying to me. I don't want to run away. At the same time... I am fearful of the damage to J's self-image, self-esteem if he stays in this environment. I think he really does have social difficulties - he simply cannot control his "play aggression" for example and frequently exceeds the boundaries by being TOO rough. What does one do about that - obviously there's a boundary, obviously one can't allow him to hurt other kids, but punishing and scolding him seems, unfortunately, to make no difference at all. This latest neurologist we saw assures me categorically that J is NOT hyperactive of ADHD. Because he was the centre of her attention, he behaved like a dream child... but she didn't see him in all the situations and times when he is not like that... I just think he seems so classic ADHD other than the fact that he "performs" when he has to - and then that makes people say no, he isn't. I do feel an alternative school would be more nurturing to him as a total person. But what a decision to make and how can one really make it, given that we are not equipped with a crystal ball! I just can't know what is for the best. A very real part of J's character and "issues" is the fact that because he does not truly fit anywhere, because of his life circumstances, his past, his adoption and also his particular strange history in terms of having already lived in three countries, he makes out that he is strong, tough, aggressive. A form of protection, maladaptive no doubt. Because he concentrates in class and does the work that is necessary, people say they don't think he has ADHD. Because of that no one is being encouraged to understand him or treat him a little differently - the conventional system doesn't really want to anyway. Do I take a huge sideways leap and take him out of all this for a Waldorf school that has a radically different view of what a child is and what education is and where maybe - maybe only - J would find a heart and a home??