Special Needs

bus incident today

Today I felt a bit blindsided. DS might get kicked off the bus. He's been taking off his boots and socks on the bus a number of times apparently. The bus driver just told me today, after she reprimanded him in front of me. I wasn't very impressed. I called the school to discuss a solution since I think the problem is that he's overheating during his 40 minute bus ride in the required full winter gear.
My concern is that this incident might have put off his whole day. The look on his face when the driver grabbed onto him and wouldn't let go until he said okay was heartbreaking.
I would have pulled him right off the bus and took him to school myself but riding the bus is his favorite part of the going to school routine and he seemed to want to ride the bus still. I'm going to wait and see how coming home goes before DH and I discuss taking him off the busline.
It explains why he's been a little anxious about the bus this week but he still wants to ride the bus.
Any suggestions on how to explain the incident to my DS to help minimize anxiety and acting up because of it would be nice.

Re: bus incident today

  • Ugh, I'm sorry. How old is your DS?
  • He's 3. He'll be 4 in a few months.
    His dev. preschool has the option to bus and DS insisted on riding the bus.
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  • How old is he.
    Can you go lighter on his clothes since he has on the rest of the cold weather gear?
    Or get one of the body cooling packs that he can use if needed (depending on age and ability of course)
    The bus driver should have brought this up earlier so you could've addressed it with him before it became a big issue.
    I'm sure having shoes and socks on is a safety thing, if there were to be an accident there might not be time to get shoes on and there could be lots of broken glass and other dangerous things around.
    For my daughter the best way to approach it would be a social story explaining that keeping shoes and socks on on the bus is a rule and giving her acceptable alternatives if she is too warm. 
    She trends to the rule follower side of things though so if you explain that something is a rule she will typical follow the rule. 
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  • My son has ridden the bus since he was 2 and up to kindy an aide was required on the bus. Does he ride in a booster/safety belt? Who buckles him in? An aide would ensure he didn't take his boots off. The aide assisted DS with sitting upright in his seat, as he had a habit of trying to lay down and sleep. The bus driver needs to drive and pay attention to the road, and can't be monitoring children's clothing. I would absolutely try a social story, or other positive reinforcements for keeping his clothes on during the bus ride. (Ew- bare feet on a nasty bus?) At DS's school the rule is that they have to bring warm clothes, not wear them. He comes to school in tennis shoes and we pack boots and snowpants in his backpack. It makes for a ginormous backpack, but it works.

    Bus riding is a marathon, not a sprint. We've had numerous issues over the years. It is very stressful and anxiety producing. Eventually I'd like him to be on a typical bus with his typical peers. So, he has to learn his way through this. Some drivers are just nicer than others. When DS was three we had a bus driver who was a total jerk, yelling at him to the point of him crying daily. The aide tried to intervene, but it wasn't until I made an terse phone call to the transportation department to complain that the driver started behaving appropriately.

    [Deleted User]
  • Open the IEP and explore getting a bus monitor.
  • -auntie- said:

    What's his dx and is the bus transportation part of his IEP?

    His dx is ASD and the bus is optional but the school encouraged us to bus him if he wanted to.
  • Open the IEP and explore getting a bus monitor.

    It's a special ed bus with safety belts and a para.
  • Thanks everyone. We'll try a social story for the bus ride.
    After I called the school my DS teacher called the bus company personally and argued about not insisting that he has to wear all his winter gear the whole ride. He'll be backpacking his snowpants and will be allowed to take off his hat and mittens to help prevent him from overheating and taking off his boots to cool off. He had a better ride home and kept his boots on.
    I haven't managed to talk to his teacher yet about this all but those in the office I have talked to basically have said that she's been working hard on damage control for him today.
    The going to school driver was right to be concerned for safety reasons but her actions were not appropriate. I should have been told when he first started doing it so that I could help address the problem. Grabbing him the way she did, under the encouragement of the para, and forcing a response out of him was inappropriate.
    We'll see if he's anxious when he rides again on Tuesday. And if he keeps his boots on.
  • The driver grabbed him and wouldn't let go? Not cool for any kid. Especially not cool for one with potential sensory and communication issues.

    I also have a 3 yr old with ASD. He can't even say OK. I understand the driver is frustrated, but that so wasn't how to handle it.

    BFP#2 2.5.11 (EDD 10.15.11) DS born 9.28.11

    BFP#4 8.27.13 (EDD 5.6.14) DD born 4.23.14


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  • Never should a bus driver put their hands on a child like that, I would report him/her to the bus company.

    I know many bus drivers and never, no matter how rowdy or sensory the situation may be, it is no excuse for a child to be held down/still to comply.

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