Another thread has just got me wondering and thought I'd ask you knowledgable people in here!
DS2 is 5 and has borderline severe ASD - non verbal, no sense of danger etc.
We are still using a normal pushchair for him at the moment as can't afford anything else right now, we are waiting for him to be assessed for a major buggy - not sure yet when we will get that but we have already been told he needs one.
We live in quite a rural area where there are not a lot of pavements, given DS's ASD he can't walk the distance to school anyway so we get the bus.
If I was only the bus and someone asked me to fold the pushchair, can I say no? I know it sounds like a stupid question but I would be really uncomfortable with DS2 on a bus not in a pushchair, especially if I had DS1 with me at the time as I can't run after both of them!
Is there a card or something you can carry to say that DS has a disability and 'excuse' him for being in the pushchair?
I'm just bracing myself for a day where I get into a argument over the limited pushchair spaces and/or get told to get off the bus!
of course you can say no! your DS2 is disabled and therefore has a right to stay in the buggy. I know my area does an autism card for social occasions where it might be necessary as it outlines the main difficulties of autism. Maybe check your LA and see if they offer something similar...
could you also contact the bus company and explain the situation in the hope that the message might get passed to the bus driver - so you aren't 'starting from scratch' when you produce the card? - often people have to hear things more than once for the message to sink in
Also worth finding out from the bus company if your ds is entitled to a card for free travel. Ds has one and though the free fare is handy the main advantage is that the driver is made aware that ds is disabled without me having to say anything. I always hope that if there is a dispute over spaces I'd have the backing of the driver re: not folding up the buggy, and if not I'd complain to the bus company!
You shouldn't have to fold the buggy. However in my area I got told to fold my DS2's SN buggy a lot, despite me saying DS2 couldn't walk, the buggy was the size of a tank and I was heavily pregnant. Mind you, they aren't much better now he has a wheelchair.
I think the problem in my area is that it's reasonably rural, there is only one bus that goes to the village and it only goes once an hour (less after 6) and I worry that I won't be allowed on an already full bus with DS2's pushchair unfolded and would then have to wait an hour (or longer) for the next one - either that or someone else might not be able to get on because of my pushchair.
I can just imagine the argument I might get into if I tried to insist that someone other than me folded their pushchair, I'm not sure they would believe me that DS2 NEEDED to be in a pushchair - hence why those cards would be great!
I did look something up on the cornwall council website but it was a bit rubbish TBH, it only offers subsidised travel (not free) and only at off peak times so no good at all for the school run
I have one of these laminated and on a key fob thing which I attach to the buggy when we go on the bus. I have been asked to fold by a woman who got a bit narky with me, it was a pain because I had to wake ds up, who then screamed for the whole journey, and had to have his opthamology appointment rescheduled, because he was in too much of a state when we got there. The annoying thing was that the woman who asked me to fold, said that she shouldn't have to because she had a baby, who she then took out of her buggy and held on her lap, leaving the buggy unfolded in the space - grrr.