J is a button pusher and a limit tester. He will test authority figures until they lay down the law. His old bus driver and aid got this about him and used a firm hand in getting him on the bus. He would act stubborn going up the 1st 2 steps, then they would shut the door, take him by the arm and lead him to his seat. Everything was fine after that, I never got a bad report and I never had to get on the bus to help get him seated.
He got a new driver and aid, and they broke up the bus routes so he is not with all the same kids either. All of these changes were a lot for his system. Top it off with the fact that the driver and aid are afraid to touch him and want him to go to his seat all on his own and we have a recipe for disaster. J has severe separation anxiety. He’s been doing great lately with a certain babysitter and he does great once he is at school, but getting him on the bus or dropping him off at the gate has always been a trial. However, his mood after riding the bus has always been better than dropping him off. Twice this week the driver has asked me to get on the bus to put him in his seat. Twice this week he has screamed and kicked and hit all the way to school. And twice this week he has had horrible days at school, complete with hitting students and teachers. Apparently Monday was not bad because it was Monday, but because I had to get on the bus and that is a deviation from routine.
I am really frustrated with how these people have decided to handle him. I have told them that he needs a hands on approach. The aid on Monday said, “well as long as I have your permission.” Today was a different aid and they gave me crap about not wanting to pull his arm out of the socket. J now knows that they are going to do nothing. So he is going to fight tooth and nail not to get on that bus. And his days are going to be completely disrupted.
His teacher called me today and we talked for a while. She said that this isn’t the 1st time that one of her kids has had problems with this driver. She is going to call the school social worker and see if they can pull strings with transportation to get him back on his old bus. She said that while she was holding him and trying to calm him after he went on a random hitting spree, she was trying to get him to express why he was so angry. She finally asked him, “If you can ride your old bus would you be happy again?” She said he totally relaxed and his attitude changed and he said, “yes that would make me happy.” Of course since his whole morning was totally off, when they transitioned to the next activity, he went wild again. I think at any other school he would have been written up, sent to the office, had me pick him up, etc. I applaud his teachers for sticking it out with him and not letting him get away with stuff. I also applaud them for being swift advocates for him.
I told her that tomorrow, if he won’t get on the bus then I will drive him to school. Me dropping him off has fewer repercussions than him having a bad bus ride. So we will see.