Faced with an Indifferent School Bus Driver, an Autistic Child’s Father Battles for Respect and Inclusion.
In a quest to advocate for his autistic son’s rights, the Original Poster (OP) faces off against an increasingly hostile school bus driver and an indifferent community. The OP confronts the school administration, making a passionate plea for inclusivity, but will it be enough?
The New Routine
The story begins with OP’s 14-year-old son, who has severe autism, experiencing a major change in his routine: instead of being driven to school by his parent, he must now take the school bus with the rest of the neighborhood children. The situation is necessitated by changes in OP’s work schedule.
The Bus Driver’s Agreement
OP introduces himself to the school bus driver, explaining his son’s sensitivity to loud noises, and requests the driver to keep the bus as quiet as possible. The driver seems to understand, agreeing to “try his best.” The story hinges on this promise, the anticipation of its fulfillment adding a sense of uncertainty.
A Journey Fraught with Tension
The agreement, however, does not seem to hold up. On the first afternoon, the son becomes upset on the noisy bus and refuses to disembark at their stop. OP has to step in, calming his son and enabling him to exit the bus.
A Confrontation Unleashed
As OP assists his son off the bus, he confronts the driver, suggesting the agitation could have been avoided had the bus been quieter. The bus driver’s glare at OP marks the beginning of an overt antagonism, transforming a silent tension into an active conflict.
The Icy Reception
The situation escalates as the bus driver starts glaring and frowning at OP every day during the pick-up and drop-off times. Despite this hostility, the driver continues to interact warmly with the other children and their parents, subtly isolating OP and his son from the community.
Seeking External Intervention
Frustrated by the bus driver’s continuous hostility, OP reports the issue to the school. The school promises to “look into it,” adding a layer of suspense to the plot: will this intervention bring about change or further fuel the tension?
Days pass, but the bus driver’s negative attitude persists. Despite several complaints to the school, there is no evidence of any action being taken. The unresolved conflict continues to intensify the narrative.
The Unlikely Ally?
OP confides in a neighbor whose children also ride the same bus, hoping to find an ally. This decision could potentially sway the balance in the standoff against the bus driver, adding a new angle of support.
A Surprising Accusation
Instead of the expected support, OP faces accusations of being unreasonable from the neighbor. Her children reportedly find OP’s son to be “extremely disruptive” on the bus, further complicating the narrative by introducing a different perspective to the conflict.
The Unfair Verdict
The neighbor concludes by suggesting that OP’s son shouldn’t be on the bus, invalidating his right to use the service just like her children. She tells OP he should arrange for an alternative means of transportation or drive him to school himself. OP feels he is put into a defensive position, not just against the bus driver but now also against the community.
The Silent Battle
OP is now left to navigate the mounting tension with the bus driver and the surprising antagonism from the neighbor while also ensuring his son’s needs are met. The silent battle continues to rage on in the backdrop of the mundane routine of school pick-ups and drop-offs.
An Unexpected Setback
In a surprising development, the school backs the bus driver, citing a lack of previous complaints against OP’s son and even praising the bus driver’s service. This twist adds to the narrative tension, leaving OP seemingly alone in his struggle.
The Final Standoff
Ignoring the backlash, OP continues to persist for his son’s rights, confronting the school administration and demanding more inclusive policies. Despite mounting opposition from the school, the bus driver, and the community OP is determined to force the system to accommodate his family.
Was The OP’s Behavior Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “You’re asking a bus driver to somehow keep an entire bus full of school children quiet while driving, just for your child?”
Another responder wrote: “Also do you think for a second that the other kids are going to be cool to your son knowing he is the reason they are being limited in their actions? Maybe that isn’t fair, but that is the world we live in.”
A different person states, “Your son has a disability, and you’re putting him in a situation where he has no choice but to be agitated!”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by this thread.
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