The Bus

Loud.

Rumbly.

Squeaking, screeching breaks.

Sensory overload for the average person.

A nightmare for my sensory kiddo.

A lot has been endured on the bus this school year.

A bully in the beginning of the year.

A referral a couple of months ago for being loud and standing up on the bus.

Now…  2 days before spring break begins…  a second referral.

He got off the bus upset.  He kept telling Keegan to be quiet or he would punch him.  The bus driver simply closed the doors and drove off.  Not a word was said.

A reminder that the truth gets you in less trouble.  The confession that he was loud again.  That the bus driver said “you keep that up and I’ll write you up faster than you can say uh-oh”.  And he said “uh-oh”.  Keegan confirmed the referral and stated the driver told him to tell us that his brother will get a 3 day suspension.

Anger.

Don’t tell my 6-year-old to tattle on my 7-year-old about something serious that happened on the bus and caused a 3 day suspension.

Frustration.

One more referral and he’s off the bus for a month – basically the remainder of the school year.  Extended care costs to us.  Why didn’t I bring this up at his IEP meeting?

Breathe.

For the next two days he will go to extended care in the morning and be picked up after school.  He will finish his time the Monday after spring break.  What if he’s not really off the bus?  Can’t take that chance with no one else to take him to school.  Tomorrow we’ll punt.

Email to his teacher and his interventionist to alert them of the concern.  Let’s work together to make the bus ok for him.  Wait for the referral to come in the mail.

Day one off the bus.  He’s dropped off at extended care.  Keegan rides the bus alone.  The driver asks where Eli is.  He’s not supposed to be off the bus yet.

More anger.

Now I’m speculating that you are expecting us to wait until after spring break (1-1/2 weeks from now) to make our son serve his punishment.  He’s supposed to remember what he did and learn something from this?  Oh, no, no, no.

Day two off the bus.  He’s dropped of at extended care.  His interventionist catches me on my way out.  “Do you have a minute?”  She shares that she talked to the driver.  The crime was more severe than originally confessed.  He told the driver he was going to blow him up and that he wishes he could throw eggs at him.  The driver was upset and had had enough.  I recognize that he needs to be punished.  She confirms my suspicions that the punishment will not begin for 1-1/2 weeks and I share my concerns about waiting until after spring break.  She agrees.  I will call the bus garage and she will back me up as needed.  She is working on a social story for him about the bus.  She will use real pictures because that is what we’ve told her works best for him.

I call the bus garage after I am calm.  I talk to a very nice woman.  I explain my concerns.  I share that my son should be punished for his behavior but that he should not wait as he will not understand the consequence after such a hiatus from the crime.  She agrees and changes the dates of the obligatory time off.  I also shared concern that the driver didn’t talk to an adult – though an adult gets the boys off the bus every day.  I shared my phone number and requested that a phone call be made if the driver is not comfortable talking during his route.  Do not ever rely on my boys to tell me that one or the other or both are in trouble.  Again she agreed.

The letter was waiting when I got home.  Now I am calm.  I can let it go for the weekend because we are headed north.  We will talk about it and deal with it more as the days go on.

Thursday of spring break.

The worry doctor appointment.

I give her a copy of the letter to keep.  I ask her to talk with him about the severity of his actions and help us find ways to make this better for him.  After her time with him she shares all that they discussed and the coping strategies they discussed.  I leave excited to email his interventionist the new ideas, hoping they can be implemented immediately upon his return onto the bus.

Day three off the bus he is home sick from school.  Screw it…  I’m counting it as a day.

Today he returned to the bus.  He handed the driver a note he wrote apologizing for his behavior.  The driver greeted him and asked how he was doing.

An email came late in the day from his interventionist that the ideas of the worry doctor are great and are doable.  So nothing put into place today.  But I’m ok with it.  And today went well.

Tomorrow he will ride with his headphones and his mp3 player.  He will read his social story right before boarding the bus and will hear the rules one last time.  And it will be good.

I hope.

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About Brotherly Love

I am a mom, partner, teacher and a lover of life. I have two fabulous boys who define my life as I know it. One of my children has been diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder, Asperger's and anxiety disorder. I blog as much about him as I do about my life and the lives of my immediate family.
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3 Responses to The Bus

  1. I feel for him. I never had anything good to me happen on the bus.

  2. Elastamom says:

    I am so angry on your behalf and Eli’s behalf. I hope this strategy works. The bus driver should have handled that way better.

  3. Kate Schwartz says:

    Glad you have good people who understand. Frustrating that the bus driver did not at the time but maybe with some insight it will help!
    Go Momma go!

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