Friday, March 5, 2010

#32 Bussing

Does your child with autism ride the special bus or the regular bus? What factors went into your decision?

Jack has always ridden the special bus. With his IEP coming up, this issue needs to be addressed for next year. His big brother will be in 5th grade (the oldest grade on the regular bus) and may possibly be able to watch out for his little brother. Jack hasn't said a word about riding the same bus as his brother, but other kids in the neighborhood (we have LOTS of them) have asked why Jack rides a different bus. THey accept the answer readily, but I wonder. Should we take the plunge and put Jack on the regular bus for second grade?

What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance for sharing!


Seekingsunshine said...

My 7 y.o son Elijah who has Autism/BP and much more in his alphabet soup rides the regular big yellow bus with a 1:1 aid.

JoLynn said...

May I offer a teacher perspective? I had a student with Asperger's who, in grade 6, rode the regular bus at first. One day, when his teachers were at a conference and unable to deliver him to the bus area, he made it to the bus area late. His bus was leaving, and, not knowing what to do, he ran behind it (yes, the admins on duty had already departed the area). His brother, who felt in charge of him, pleaded with the bus driver to stop the bus. The bus driver replied, "I stop the bus at bus stops." Alex continued following the bus and his brother painfully watched from the bus because the driver also would not let him get off. Alex walked home across a state highway. His parents called 911 frantic, because they did not know where he was. After that, he was escorted to the short bus. They tried to avoid that, but the short bus was the only option in the district for him to have an aide and a safe trip home. Did I mention that the other kids on the bus were screaming crap out the window and taunting Alex as he ran after the bus?

This wasn't meant as a scare tactic kind of story, but just one to show that lines of communication can break down and there are many steps of decision making that a child with autism and his siblings may have to make that are way too difficult of situations to put them in. Max rides the short bus. He will be starting Kindergarten in the fall, and he will ride it again. Until I am sure of HIS decision making skills, and his alone, I will always opt for the bus with assistance beyond the bus driver.

tinamarie said...

Tony rode the short bus all through grade school and with a note from Tony's doctor his older brother (one year older) was also allowed to ride it with him to watch over him.
When he started Junior High he refused to ride it anymore for fear of other kids teasing him. So I was able to change my work schedule so I could drop the boys off at school in th morning and then Greg would pick them up after school.

Barb Nelson said...

My son is very high functioning and has/is taking the regular school bus. Having said that, however, he hates to be noticed as being "different." Being on a different bus would probably hurt him more than help him.