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school transport, what should I ensure happens?

(14 Posts)
PipinJo Wed 12-Oct-11 23:05:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ineedstrongcoffee Wed 12-Oct-11 23:30:11

i was feeling just like you at the begining of september.
And i really think i over thought everything,because the anticipation for me was much worse than the reality.
ds wouldnt be able to tell me if there was a problem either but i would be able to tell,his body language would be an indication.As it is he runs to the taxi on a morning and is so happy to see them its realy surprised me.
Asfor a booster seat ds is also a large 7 and he just uses a normal seatbelt no booster in the taxi because taxis are exempt,however i suppose you could use your own.Hope thats reassured you a littlesmile

amistillsexy Thu 13-Oct-11 00:21:17

My DS has just had major melt downs at school because his ususal escort was away for 2 weeks sad .
The drivers change but usually wink th eescort stays the same. DS doesn't really seem to notice the drivers to be honest. The taxi is a normal mini cab. The Council have a contract with one firm, but they don't always have the same driver or car. We just focus on the escort and 'play down the fact that the car is different!
Our escort is wonderful (in fact, I've added him to our list of PAs as he gets on with DS so well!). He is very understanding, and friendly. DS feels safe with him (he's a big, smiley Asian man who calls DS 'My Friend', in the way they do round here. DS loves it!). I don't know how 'trained' he is, but he certainly handles DS well, firm and friendly!
As for asking them to change the radio station, since the driver is driving his own cab, I'd feel uncomfortable doing that, but we got DS an MP3 and recorded stories onto it. He has a lovely pair of old-style 'cans' for earphones that have the added benefit of cutting out some sensory input as well!
We put that he used a booster seat on the form but they've never bothered with one, and to be honest, I haven't said anything as he is quite big and I think he'll be fine.
I was just as worried as you. In the end, I decided DS would pick up on it if I stressed, so I just told him matter-of-factly that he was going in the cab with Ali, and put him in, as though it was perfectly normal. then went inside and bawled my eyes out . He was fine.
Finally, I agree with Ineedstrongcoffee (so do I!)-you'll know if there's a problem, as DS won't like getting in the cab!
Good Luck!

PipinJo Thu 13-Oct-11 00:36:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tryingtokeepintune Thu 13-Oct-11 08:16:36

Hi PipinJo,

My ds startd on school transport this September and he seems to enjoy it.

Can you write a social story about it? Btw, make sure that it also says 'taxi will take ds back when school finishes.' In the social story the school wrote for my ds they forgot that and ds was a little anxious and asked me about it. I had to assure him that transport will take him back.

The first couple of times he went last term, the TA from his old school followd in her car. According to her, he kept looking to check that she was behind. However, that was probably also because he was going to a new place and he was anxious about that. How long is the journey? Maybe follow behind for the first time but say to your ds that you are going somewhere around there so he won't expect you to be there the next day? (Probably will reassure you)

On the 3rd week, the usual driver went on holiday but ds just took it in his stride. Told me, 'xxx went on holiday.'

Ds waits for his taxi every morning. Agree with the rest that you will probably know if your ds is unhappy, even if he doesn't say anything.

Good luck.

intothewest Thu 13-Oct-11 08:40:04

Hi . I would say it depends on how your DS is with routine- If I went on the bus / taxi he would expect me to be there every time- Do you have a home school diary- Can you get the teacher to write how he seemed when he arrived at school.

When we had a glitch with the bus and I had to drive DS it was really difficult as I was having to stop all the time to sort things out (toys dropped;shoe fallen off;DS screaming etc. )I didn't think it was safe . It is much better to have a escort.

MY DS is totally happy on the bus now.I agree that you will be able to tell if your DS is happy with it.

If your DS likes music I would give him something to play it on (mp3 or whatever)

I do think it's me that worries and he is fine !!Hope it all goes well smile

PipinJo Thu 13-Oct-11 18:32:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

starfishmummy Thu 13-Oct-11 21:40:36

DS goes on the school minbus - has done since reception - and he absolutely loves it. To start with he just did one journey a day to see how it went - the driver (who was actually employed by the school) suggested that it was best to start with coming home. He also had a cuddly toy for "company". In fact he loved it so much, and settled right in that he was doing both ways after a couple of days. They did have the radio on (or listen to tapes) - I think the driver chose, but obviously on a bus they all couldn't have their favourite on.
If you think you want to travel a couple of times you should check whether it will be possible - again I speak from a bus point of view but I know that any extra people on ds's bus have to be "authorised" by the transport manager for insurance purposes.

amistillsexy Thu 13-Oct-11 21:51:08

I would not follow in the car, tbh, nor would I ask to go with them (I don't think they'd allow you to, anyway, and how would you get home? grin ).

i think the more normal you make it, the better. If you follow in the car, it will look as if you don't think it's safe, and I think it's vital that you never ever show Ds that you have the slightest doubt about transport-otherwise he'll never feel safe and be able to relax.

I told DS that only the most valued and respected members of staff are allowe to be escorts. We decided that Ali must have been the best of the best to be offered this prize ( hmm ) of a job grin . He needed to know that he was absolutely safe, and if I showed any sign of a doubt, he would not have gone without me!

PipinJo Fri 14-Oct-11 17:58:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

amistillscary Sat 15-Oct-11 11:17:00

Good luck PipinJo. I'm sure your DS will be fine (and then not fine for a bit, and then fine again, then a bit of a wobble, then OK....as they all are! smile)
Enjoy your independence as well!

PipinJo Mon 17-Oct-11 10:24:40

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tryingtokeepintune Mon 17-Oct-11 13:50:43

Was thinking of you. Glad it went well. Your ds was probably in the car enjoying the journey.

How well he has done in 12 weeks. You are right to be proud.

Well done mini-pipin

PipinJo Mon 17-Oct-11 16:50:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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