difficult child just called. He has been working whole week with the specialist his team wanted to hire to help him. Either they were really quick on scheduling (difficult child just told he was okay with the idea last week) OR the team had already scheduled him a month ago and just didn't tell difficult child and gave him time to change his mind on needing this service. They did after all tell me they considered forcing the issue if difficult child wouldn't change his mind. Anyway this guy has talked with difficult child, his coaches and other personnel, some of his team mates and observed the situation. difficult child called because they want to have a meeting with all the concerned parties to go through this and they want also me and/or husband there. I feel like when waiting one of those dreaded school meetings we so often had with difficult child. And I already hoped I would never again have one of those. But it seems that we will have, enhanced with five to six hours in the car to get there and back. Lovely! But this specialist has also already started with some practical solutions with difficult child 's problems. And indeed he has a sticker chart again. It sounded like difficult child wasn't sure if he should be amused or affronted by that. It is for the tidy locker problem. They took a photo of ‘perfect locker' and now after every practise difficult child is to compare the photo and his locker and play ‘find the 7 differences.' After that he can take a sticker from the certain place where service personnel leave one for him before the practises and put that to his sticker chart. If he forgets, he is not getting the sticker. He was advised to keep the sticker chart somewhere there he can see it when leaving (on his dashboard in car, the back pack pocket with his bike keys etc.) so he can still turn around if he has forgotten and go back and check his locker and get his sticker. Idea of course is to make it a habit to check the locker every time and that way eliminate the tidiness issues. He even has a big reward promised to him after he collects enough stickers. There is some stuff he is using, that can be either cool or generic. It doesn't make a difference on his performance, but cool is of course cool. And more expensive. Last year when they were acquiring this stuff for difficult child he was still considered junior and for juniors they get generic stuff if parents are not paying the difference. Most do, but we were not feeling like treating difficult child any way a year ago, so he was using generic stuff last year. For their men's team they buy the cool stuff. But they decided that difficult child is only getting the cool stuff when he shows he behaves like a pro and takes good care of his stuff i.e. after he has collected enough stickers. Though it may be that this ‘big reward' is not much of the reward for difficult child. He learned last year that uncool can be the new cool if you carry it with enough swagger and he is not totally sure if he even wants the cool stuff. After he told me that, I was very quick to point out that if he wants to tell them to ‘stick it' for putting him to sticker chart, the perfect way to do that would be collecting the stickers, giving full sticker chart back to service manager and telling him he doesn't want ‘the cool stuff.' And then the oddest thing happened: difficult child in fact laughed at me and told he is not twelve any more and I don't need to do that. That he knows he is doing this for his own benefit and is not planning to self-sabotage just to be oppositional. He may not like having a sticker chart again, but if it helps him to get this issue under control he can live with that. And it is executed so that others don't have to know about it. At that point I was not sure who this man was I was talking with and what has he done to my difficult child. No whining, pity party or melodramatics. The voice was the same but that certainly didn't sound like my immature little boy at all. Well, it will probably be temporarily and he will soon be throwing temper tantrums again. So all in all: Pluses: my overgrown little boy may indeed mature and turn to the man one day and seems to be taking steps to that direction. Minuses: I will have to attend one more ‘IEP meeting', and sit up to six hours in the car because of that.