The Bus Meeting

Because of the bus video where my son was crying due to the monitor’s behavior, the transportation director wanted us to meet with the bus driver and the new monitor assigned to my son’s bus route. The goal was for them to know my son, try to understand his needs, and make a plan for intervention in case of a meltdown.

We met yesterday, a Saturday afternoon at the West Side Transportation Department. The transportation director, the west side coordinator, the bus driver, and the bus monitor were there to meet with my husband, myself, and the monkey.

We arrived to the meeting early. We waited outside for everyone else to arrive. The monkey was in heaven. All these busses with stop signs were parked everywhere. He kept wanting to run towards the buses. To be safe, my husband put him on his shoulders while they went to see the stop signs. And he was so happy. We’ve taken the monkey to Sea World and Disneyland, and he could not have cared less. Yet in the middle of this field of parked busses, he couldn’t stop grinning. This was his Disneyland. 😊

We finally had to take him inside to star the meeting. During the meeting, I was humbled to see everyone’s concern for my son. They wanted to hear us out, they wanted to discuss any suggestions we had, they simply wanted us to help them understand our son. It caught us off guard since most of our meetings are about us fighting for services. My husband and I had a plan beforehand, a strategy to fight for our son.

But we didn’t need any of that. This meeting was different. It was about ways to assist my monkey. And they were open for any suggestions.

We mentioned to them that this past Friday, my husband decided to take the monkey to school, to avoid the bus ride. And when my husband arrived at school, the monkey wanted to get inside the bus. He didn’t understand why he didn’t take the bus to school that day.

As I am mentioning this, the coordinator told us that this is their job. This is what they get paid to do. And if we give them another chance, they will try to make sure they are there to transport my monkey safely and happy. And they asked us to trust them. With these changes, they hoped they could make his ride smoother.

It was such a great meeting. I genuinely felt they cared for the monkey and were looking for ways to make the transition stressless. We came up with a plan. There will be a stop sign inside his backpack in an event he is struggling. A telephone cord bracelet will also be inside his backpack. This sensory toy helps him calm down. We will also have his iPad ready for him, but this will be the last resort. YouTube videos tend to calmn him down.

And our new bus monitor. She’s been a monitor for over 20 years, and her way of treating my son is breathtaking. We’ve seen how she greets him every morning and says goodbye to him when he’s being dropped off. She’s very kind, sweet, and extremely attentive to my monkey. But I have always been skeptical because of our past experience with the other monitor. I’d ask my husband, “Does she treat him like this because we are here and then mistreats him once they leave our home?” But in this instance we knew how genuine she was in how my son accepted her. He was letting us know he was safe with her.

As we are ending the meeting, the coordinator mentioned that he has a plush toy of a school bus with a stop sign in his office. He was going to bring it in Monday to see if that helps my son too.

Not only was it a great meeting, where I felt we were heard and assisted, we also were able to get great pics of my monkey. We don’t have many pictures where he is smiling, but yesterday, we were able to get pictures of him feeling like he’s in heaven.❤️ And his smile proves it.

Yesterday was a great day.

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