Proper Special Needs Transportation is important to millions of families around the world. Today I am going to share with you my current concerns and what I have done about it.
I have been having issues with my youngest son’s school district’s Special Needs transportation lately. There have been unscheduled/random changes in bus #’s or bus drivers on my son’s bus route. I also have not been pleased with the random drop-off times on my son’s PM bus.
How to Relay Your Concerns:
I have addressed my concerns with the transportation department directly in the past regarding other issues during the past school year. I am the type of parent who will make a round of phone calls and/or emails to express my concerns to ALL parties involved. Tactfully of course. After, follow-up conversations with the school district’s transportation department’s supervisor, my son’s school, his therapist, and our family advocate. I was able to resolve my grievances to my satisfaction.
Sadly, this school year I’ve had to give a refresher course of what this mama expects! Random bus drivers have heard my mouth and responded by saying they are short-staffed and there are last-minute changes they don’t even know about until they get to the school to pick up children. Even my conversation with the Special Needs Transportation receptionist has proved pressure is at an all time high due to the shortage of drivers.
Trust me, I truly do empathize with them.
School districts have enough problems with so-called adults having kids, then acting like they don’t have good sense when dealing with other adults of authority, or their own children. Personally I refuse to have the title “unfit parent” placed on my forehead for any reason. Unfortunately, these types of parents forget that all eyes are already on them at all times and that most adults involved in our child’s development outside of the house are mandatory reporters.
What Special Needs Transportation Expects
Here is a summary of some key points in the written Special Needs Transportation agreement mailed out each school year to parents and caregivers:
The caregiver or parent is to be notified by phone (in advance) whenever there is a change to the designated bus# their child normally rides.
The parent or caregiver is to be notified if the regular bus driver or bus route changes
The caregiver or parent is to be notified when the pick-up and drop-off time will deviate from the regular schedule. Or changed permanently.
With Special Needs Transportation the parent or caregiver is required to be at the bus stop at the designated pick-up and drop-off times. If the caregiver or parent is not at the designated
bus stop at the designated drop-off time: The bus driver has the right to drive the child all the way back to the school then call CPS to report possible neglect. (In Oregon -Multnomah County/Reynolds School District)
So to make a long story short. I do my part daily for my son to ensure that my son is safe and his life has some sort of consistency. I also expect anyone involved in his care to do the same. Best believe, if something doesn’t sit right with me I will speak on it. I am his number one advocate of course! It is up to all of us to speak on behalf of our loved ones.
I can go on and on, but it’s time to close out this blog post.
So let me make it clear: When it comes to Special Needs Transportation, I understand permanent, properly trained drivers are hard to come by. I am also aware that budget cuts have made things more difficult in many parts of the world. But, it’s a proven fact, sporadic changes in the regular schedule of a child (mine)with severe ADHD and/or Autism is NOT OK. Any slight change will throw him & countless others of track, and spark behavioral difficulties.
If we don’t learn to voice our concerns how else will people involved in shaping our children know there’s a problem?
I feel it is my responsibility hold other’s accountable the same way I am held accountable. And I hope you feel the same way to. Let’s all continue to advocate for all special need individuals!
Have you or someone you know, had issues with Special Needs Transportation? Let me know. Also, consider joining my Facebook Group “The Advocacy Garden“. In my group I discuss subjects surrounding Special Needs and Mental Health Advocacy. I would love to respond to any comments you may have as well. So please make sure you like, share, comment and subscribe.