The School Bus



“Oh just let that baby take the bus. What is your issue with it?” My aunt’s voice echoes in my head. I had been giving her an update the week before and told her the school district had offered transportation to Ryan as part of the IEP.

What is my issue with it? Is it the stigma of being a special needs kid and going on the “short bus”? Ugh…did I really just call it that? I want to give myself 50 lashes for even thinking this awful thought.  What is wrong with me?  I should be more sensitive to those kind of sayings.  But, it was in my mind before I could stop it.  And if I’m being honest, those busses are very recognizable.  It is one more element I hate about singling him out as special needs.

Aside from my stupid ego, the other, bigger concern, is putting my child’s life in a stranger’s hands. It’s not like bus accidents don’t happen all the time…I’ll go with that…safety.  Yes, that is more the issue than the special needs part of taking the bus.  What a shithead I am…

I don’t think he would have any issue taking the bus. He is actually quite fascinated with them. Every day at preschool he asks to get on the parked buses. The classroom aides think it’s cute; they tell me frequently how much he likes the bus.  Ryan has no concept that he would be perceived as different if he took the short bus. So why am I worried?

When the district offered it, I didn’t say no right away.   But, I have to let them know this week. Maybe just for summer school…I can try it.

Sitting at my desk trying to plan Jenna and Ryan’s  summer I am debating all this–sometimes out loud–weather or not to utilize the school districts offer.  Mainly, it just seems odd, since we don’t need it.  I have fully functioning car and my work is flexible, so getting him there is not an issue.  I never have minded taking my kids to school, in fact, I feel a void in my day if I don’t get to see them off.  I just like knowing they arrived safely.  Okay, maybe it is the safety issue.

I guess I could just have the bus bring him home from summer school… 

Summer school is actually called “ESY” (Extended School year) for special needs children. Many kids need to keep attending school over the summer to help with continuity issues and some to make up academics they struggled with during the year.  The part I don’t like is the ESY only lasts about six weeks and it’s usually at one central school for the whole district—not necessarily the school the child attends; which happens to be the case for us.  So for me it is adding up to one big headache.

First, I have to make his social story.  However, I won’t know have access to his teacher until the first day.  So, technically he will already be there before I make the book.  I will have to take pictures of his new teacher, the school, the class, his speech pathologist and his Occupational therapist.  If I can even see them on the first day.  Then download the pictures, write the story, print it, fold it and begin reading it to him the second he gets home from his first day.  Just that part is overwhelming.  Then there is the element of the coordinating being home for the bus.  Obviously someone has to be there and they give a big window of time it will arrive.

I just can’t decide if it’s worth it, all because he shows interest in the bus.  He likes Thomas too, but would he actually ride on the train? I don’t know.  And I can’t go with him to “try” it.

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