We have kept him home from school for a month now and it has been great. He is calmer and less surly and there has been some normal naughtiness but no sneaky mean passive-aggressive stuff. It's great.
Last weekend we had a discipline-free weekend. This is the first ever since school started in the fall. We had come to dread weekends as they always soured from Dandy's bad choices. I was of the opinion that he merely endured us over the weekend until he could get back to his 'real life' at school -- you know -- the life with a bunch of kids and a benevolent care-giver, the life he is hard-wired for.
Today I met my girlfriend at a coffee shop with him in tow. Instead of bouncing around manically, vying for attention and creating a ruckus, he sat quietly and read his book. Yes, you read that right. I even have a witness. He pleasantly read The Fire Cat featuring Pickles and our beloved Jenny Linsky and then he watched a LeapFrog Math Circus DVD. He was cheerful and pleasant and it was wonderful.
I'm also his teacher now -- not his homework helper -- so he can no longer amuse himself by feigning incompetence. Because I never was really sure what had been covered at school and what had not, he could (and did) entertain himself by pretending to be clueless and garnering more time and attention thereby. Since we are now able to better met his tremendous need for attention and because I am now present for all his schooling, he is no longer needing to, nor inclined to, pull this off.
Thank you, internet friends, for your support and encouragement as we considered and then implemented this big decision. We are, thus far, very pleased with the results.