Thursday, February 5, 2009

Three cheers for the bus driver.

Considering all of the craptabulous things Jaysen had been through last year in school, this year (at the new school) has been the cat's pajamas. The comfy flannel kind. This school is amazing. He's still spending most of his time in the Resourse Room, but they're encouraging him to join the ranks of the General population, it's just not been his cup o' tea.

Imagine my surprise when issues began to arise...this time, with the bus driver.

Jaysen and his morning bus driver have this love-hate thing going on. The bus driver is your typical old man, complete with the grandpa-jokes. He likes to make faces at Jaysen and spout off comebacks. He gets a rise out of making Jaysen react. Yeah, well I don't.

I decided to write the bus driver a letter. In it, I explained a bit about Jaysen, and why he does and says some of the things he does. I explained that Jaysen hates school, and he (the driver) is the person who is transporting him to the most evil place on earth. This causes Jaysen's anxiety to raise, and he quickly approaches fight-or-flight mode. I explained that those are the reasons it is imperative that while I am pulling every rabbit out of my hat, I be allowed to do so without intervention.

I know he means well, and he's just trying to get a smile out of my kid, but after the second week of my kid telling you "I STILL don't like you!" It's time to try something else.

The next day, the bus driver asked for my phone number. There was something he wanted to talk to me about. I thought about giving him my work number, but ended up giving him my cell because he does, afterall, know where I live if he really wanted to come and get me.

He called later that morning, and he thanked me profusely. He told me a little story about how they don't give the bus drivers any information about the kids due to confidentiality laws, and he once had a student who had a seizure on the bus. He handled it appropriately, but he said that he may have not been so startled, had he known this student was seizure prone. He then told me that his friend's daughter is "A.D. and A.D.H.D" (AD? Um, okay), and his grandson that lives with them has "Asperjers". I thought it was funny, but sweet how he was trying to connect. He kept saying how much he appreciated me letting him in on a little about Jaysen.

The next day when it was time to get on the bus, Jaysen starts up the steps and is startled by a loud, booming voice- "Goooood Moooorning Jaysen!"
Oh gawd. Was he not listening to anything yesterday???
Jaysen looked at him and said "Stop it!"
The bus driver looked back at him and said, "okay".

Wow. He did listen.

Jaysen still hates school and still doesn't like the bus driver, but he doesn't cry that the bus driver is teasing him anymore either.

Baby steps.


Nicki said...

Well, at least it sounds like this bus driver really does like kids and does want to connect with Jaysen, even if he went about it all wrong at first! When I worked at a special ed school, there was this little boy who went through a phase where he was behaving horribly on the bus, and it got worse and worse. In the afternoons he didn't want to get on the bus to go home! So one day I was helping to get the little boy on the bus, and the bus driver told me that when the little boy was too wild, he would tie the boy down with the seatbelts!!!! True story.

datri said...

I'm glad the driver listened and didn't get all defensive about it.

This year we have a wonderful bus driver and bus aide. There's usually such high turnover.

Mama Mara said...

It never occurred to me that privacy laws would prevent bus drivers from knowing important information about the kids they transport each day. How bizarre! No wonder the driver was so grateful; the poor guy's in a sense driving blind.

Glad the driver (sorta) gets it now.