Make all school bus companies certified in Autism!
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This should already be a Law!
With Autism being diagnosed in 1 in every 26 children, more of our children are using private bus companies to transport then to and from out of district schools. The children are on these buses for up to an hour and a half each way, every day! On the buses are the driver and an aide. The aide is there to provide support to the children during their long commute. Mostly, the aides are average workers with no knowledge of how to talk to or treat those with Autism. Because of this, children can have stressful, emotional, and even traumatic experiences on their drive, sometimes twice a day!
This year has been an especially difficult year for my son with the bus company my son's district is using. One symptom of my son's Autism is behavioral issues. Not extreme, but still and issue. With knowledgeable ways of talking to him, simple calm down methods and phrases, and simple preventive actions (the aide holding the backpack), my son can make the trip peacefully playing his tablet. Instead he gets told to "shut up" and screamed at, which in turn, makes him more agitated and aggressive. After rough morning trips, my son would be "off" the rest of the day at school. He would have a lot more meltdowns and be a lot less willing to do calm methods. He went from having a great school year with high "points", to spending most of his time outside of the classroom due to his behavior and low "points". I always tell my son to ask the aide for help when he needs it. But when he does, and is met with hostility, what is he to do next?
Our children deserve the right to not be afraid to get on the school bus! They deserve to know that when they need help, they can ask the aide for help and they won't get screamed at! They deserve the chance to have a good day in school!
All bus companies putting in bids to school districts to transport Autistic children to and from school MUST be CERTIFIED!! I am honestly shocked that this isn't already a Law!
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