Adrian started a special preschool program when he was first diagnosed at 2.5 years of age. I’d made the decision to be a full time mom so there was no question that I’d be driving Adrian to and from his preschool each day.
The girls were about 6 months old and handled the 30 minute ride well. I’d run errands after morning drop off, head home and then leave the house a bit early in the afternoon so the girls could get a full nap in the car around pick up time. When we moved, the ride to his new school was still about the same 30 minutes so we kept our routine.
Then he moved to his kindergarten classroom at 5 years old. The girls had just turned 4 so when busing was offered I figured we’d give it a go. The worst case scenario if it didn’t work out was that we’d all have to go back to our familiar routine.
From the start there were serious problems. Within those first few weeks the bus folks were reporting tantrums, hitting and kicking windows, hitting and kicking and pinching other people on the bus, taking his shoes off and sometimes even throwing them at the driver.
I met with the bus driver, aide and bus company management and tried to give suggestions. They tried playing his music for him, tried taking his shoes off as he entered the bus (which was really just a minivan), tried having the aide sit in various places and interact in various ways. Things would get better for a bit but there was no way to make everything go smoothly all the time. After several months of trying I did eventually go back to driving Adrian myself.
We’d give bus rides another go many years later with equally mixed results. The ride to school was impossible but the ride home from school could be managed… most of the time. There’d still be occasions when I’d get a phone call and have to run to the school to pick him up myself.
Adrian’s difficulty on the bus was one of the points we made to the school district to support his going to a residential school. They were pushing for him to ride an hour on a bus to and an hour home from the school every day instead. Yeah, right!
I’m really grateful that through Adrian’s schooling years I was in a position where I always had the option of driving him to school myself. And I’m really glad that our days of having to even think about a bus are over! 😀