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Long School Bus trip for an 11 yr old
Freaking out


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#1 no spring chicken

Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:08 PM

Hi,
We've just learned that our year 5 boy has been accepted to an independent school next year (Yr.6- he will have just turned 11) and this school is approx. 20 kms , or a 45-55mins STA school bus trip away.
Up until now he has been attending a local school that is literally around the corner and he currently rides to and from school. I admit that I assumed I would have to arrange  before and after school care for my younger child (who also attends local school) for at least a term so that I could drive DS1 to his new school, while he settles in.
DH has just said , no , apart from maybe the first week, he can catch the bus, it will be good for him. Besides that, the before and after school care will add to the financial stress that the new school's fees will place on us.
I am more than mildly freaking out.
We had planned for him to start in Yr.7 but with a long wait-list and no guarantee of a place we felt we needed to grab this opportunity for DS.
I should also add that after many years of back and forth between specialists (and their different opinions about DS1) he was diagnosed with PDD NOS last year. He is very high functioning and has been widely considered 'borderline'.
So am I being overly anxious? I see tons of kids getting on and off buses but now that mine will be one of them he seems too young.
He will of course be given a pre-paid phone so that he can communicate with us.
Can anyone out their share their stories w/ me . Preferably ones that will put my mind at ease.
Thanks.

Edited by no spring chicken, 09 December 2012 - 01:41 PM.


#2 liveworkplay

Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:31 PM

I caught two public buses (interchanging in the CBD) to school for 6 years starting at 11. This was pre mobile phone days and I never ever had a negative experience.

#3 no spring chicken

Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:46 PM

Perhaps I should move this topic to the' kids w/ special needs' section?
Not sure how I do that.

#4 HarperLeeAndMe

Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:54 PM

There are a few kids with asd of various ages on our school bus, haven't heard of any problems.  You could ask your son to sit up front near the driver if you are concerned.

#5 MrsShine

Posted 09 December 2012 - 02:47 PM

Hi there,

My nephew is 10 yrs old and low on the autism spectrum and gets the bus to & from school each day which takes an hr each way. He LOVES it! My sister and her ex had been nervous too, (he started last year at this new school) but if anything he's become a lot more confident because of it.

Is this a school bus or public bus though?

My nephews bus is a private school bus, all the kids have their own seat where they sit each day so there is no stress about where to sit, who to sit next to etc. it also helped him make new friends which he'd had trouble with in the past.

#6 no spring chicken

Posted 09 December 2012 - 02:59 PM

QUOTE (MrsShine @ 09/12/2012, 03:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi there,

My nephew is 10 yrs old and low on the autism spectrum and gets the bus to & from school each day which takes an hr each way. He LOVES it! My sister and her ex had been nervous too, (he started last year at this new school) but if anything he's become a lot more confident because of it.

Is this a school bus or public bus though?

My nephews bus is a private school bus, all the kids have their own seat where they sit each day so there is no stress about where to sit, who to sit next to etc. it also helped him make new friends which he'd had trouble with in the past.

It's a public school bus to a private school. I'd feel better if it was the school's own bus. He won't know anyone at the school barring a teacher who is a neighbour of ours.
I am a nervous Nellie who has a talent for catastrophising. It hasn't helped that there has been fresh media attention on the Daniel Morcombe tragedy. I cry every time I read something about that darling boy. I then imagine my boy missing his bus and standing alone at a bus stop. I don't think that wouldn't have crossed the mind of any parent though. mellow.gif

#7 i-candi

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:27 PM

Here is my year 7 experience of 2012 (I know your DS is only 11 though).

DS went to our local school which is a two minute drive - three in traffic.

For high school we chose an all boys Catholic school that was just over a 45 min drive there and just over an hour on way home.

There were 4 boys from the local primary that went there, the other 3 boys were sports orientated (high school was well known for its sports programs) and DS couldn't kick a ball so DS didn't know these boys as they were in lower school groups and DS had nothing in common with the other boys.

We wanted the Catholic all boys ethos and they do academics well so really DS knew no one when he started.

The school didn't really turn out for DS (DS couldn't cope with the rough boys attitudes) so next year he is going to a local Anglican school.

However apart from issues with the boys from his primary school trying to make DS watch porn !!!!!! Yep teased him because DS didn't want to look at porn  sad.gif   The school quickly jumped on these boys and it was all sorted the bus trip was ok. As it turned out another boy from the Catholic primary in town was in all the same classes as DS so they struck up a friendship.

DS came to love catching the bus because they would all get together on their iPhones and play games against each other. Having a nerd of a dad helped and DS had a great internet/phone connection so he would host servers so he ended up being popular.

There were two regrets DS had leaving his old school, one was missing his teachers and the other missing his bus driver!!!

I got his bus driver a movie gift certificate on his last bus drive just as a thank you for looking after DS. Year 7 boys are made to sit at the front of the bus in the first term for supervision (though the porn issue was first time  unsure.gif  ).

High school (or changing school) is a big thing and the distances are draining, DS would often fall asleep in the morning and afternoon bus trips. One day the boys didn't wake him in the morning to see if he would wake. Lucky for DS the girl school catches the bus and a girl from his primary woke him up!

If I was you I would make your DS catch the bus from day two. The dynamics of the bus will be forming in those early days and your DS needs to be a part of it. I know it's hard, it was hard for me letting go of DS as DS has anxiety and depression so it was a big thing letting him go. I worked at his primary so it was harder for me letting go than for him experiencing the new 'normal'. I made DS catch the bus on day two and I'm so glad I did. Same thing will happen next year at his new school, DH will take DS to school on day one and he will catch the bus in the afternoon and then after that it will always be the bus.

The only thing you need to worry about is ,if it is anything like us, his bus in the morning is the only one to go to school so if you miss it you don't go to school or a parent is late for work. Only happened once because DS got off the bus to get a book from me (I was in the car behind the bus as I went home to get the book he didn't need for school but wanted to read on the bus), DS didn't tell the bus driver to wait or even ask him if he could just get the book. The bus driver drove off and due to living semi rural, and there are about 3 busses leaving town at once you can't actually overtake to get to the next bus stop. Lucky DH had the day off so he took DS to school that day.

Don't let a bus trip turn you off a school, it is really character building. I know I loved the freedom of bussing and training to school. I got to walk through the city to change and I felt so 'old' original.gif although that was a lifetime ago and things have changed.

#8 no spring chicken

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:37 PM

QUOTE (i-candi @ 09/12/2012, 09:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here is my year 7 experience of 2012 (I know your DS is only 11 though).

DS went to our local school which is a two minute drive - three in traffic.

For high school we chose an all boys Catholic school that was just over a 45 min drive there and just over an hour on way home.

There were 4 boys from the local primary that went there, the other 3 boys were sports orientated (high school was well known for its sports programs) and DS couldn't kick a ball so DS didn't know these boys as they were in lower school groups and DS had nothing in common with the other boys.

We wanted the Catholic all boys ethos and they do academics well so really DS knew no one when he started.

The school didn't really turn out for DS (DS couldn't cope with the rough boys attitudes) so next year he is going to a local Anglican school.

However apart from issues with the boys from his primary school trying to make DS watch porn !!!!!! Yep teased him because DS didn't want to look at porn  sad.gif   The school quickly jumped on these boys and it was all sorted the bus trip was ok. As it turned out another boy from the Catholic primary in town was in all the same classes as DS so they struck up a friendship.

DS came to love catching the bus because they would all get together on their iPhones and play games against each other. Having a nerd of a dad helped and DS had a great internet/phone connection so he would host servers so he ended up being popular.

There were two regrets DS had leaving his old school, one was missing his teachers and the other missing his bus driver!!!

I got his bus driver a movie gift certificate on his last bus drive just as a thank you for looking after DS. Year 7 boys are made to sit at the front of the bus in the first term for supervision (though the porn issue was first time  unsure.gif  ).

High school (or changing school) is a big thing and the distances are draining, DS would often fall asleep in the morning and afternoon bus trips. One day the boys didn't wake him in the morning to see if he would wake. Lucky for DS the girl school catches the bus and a girl from his primary woke him up!

If I was you I would make your DS catch the bus from day two. The dynamics of the bus will be forming in those early days and your DS needs to be a part of it. I know it's hard, it was hard for me letting go of DS as DS has anxiety and depression so it was a big thing letting him go. I worked at his primary so it was harder for me letting go than for him experiencing the new 'normal'. I made DS catch the bus on day two and I'm so glad I did. Same thing will happen next year at his new school, DH will take DS to school on day one and he will catch the bus in the afternoon and then after that it will always be the bus.

The only thing you need to worry about is ,if it is anything like us, his bus in the morning is the only one to go to school so if you miss it you don't go to school or a parent is late for work. Only happened once because DS got off the bus to get a book from me (I was in the car behind the bus as I went home to get the book he didn't need for school but wanted to read on the bus), DS didn't tell the bus driver to wait or even ask him if he could just get the book. The bus driver drove off and due to living semi rural, and there are about 3 busses leaving town at once you can't actually overtake to get to the next bus stop. Lucky DH had the day off so he took DS to school that day.

Don't let a bus trip turn you off a school, it is really character building. I know I loved the freedom of bussing and training to school. I got to walk through the city to change and I felt so 'old' original.gif although that was a lifetime ago and things have changed.


Thank you so much for your reply!
A little bit of the 'worry cloud' blew over.  
I've got a few more weeks to fret on it though!
At least his transition to year 7 will be easier.

#9 capper

Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:50 PM

Hi, my son is now 10 and in year 5.  He catches the bus with a.change of bus in the Sydney CBD.  It takes him about 45 minutes.  The kids at his school are very mobile.  They all catch public busses from about year 5.  The school is in the city and we live in the suburbs.  And yes.  A phone, always charged is necessary.  I usually get texts when leaving school, changing busses and when 5 minutes from home.  

And, they do love catching the bus together.  It is a great social outing.  ( my son is hearing impaired, so I worry about him not hearing cars)

#10 no spring chicken

Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:29 PM

QUOTE (capper @ 10/12/2012, 09:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi, my son is now 10 and in year 5.  He catches the bus with a.change of bus in the Sydney CBD.  It takes him about 45 minutes.  The kids at his school are very mobile.  They all catch public busses from about year 5.  The school is in the city and we live in the suburbs.  And yes.  A phone, always charged is necessary.  I usually get texts when leaving school, changing busses and when 5 minutes from home.  

And, they do love catching the bus together.  It is a great social outing.  ( my son is hearing impaired, so I worry about him not hearing cars)


Thank you. My son also has unilateral hearing loss (wears an aid) so I too worry about his directional hearing and crossing roads etc.
My husband assures me that the bus travel will become a highlight of his day.
I hope this turns out to be true. I guess time will tell.

#11 capper

Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:46 AM

Snap. Unilateral lOSS right ear. Uses a hearing aid and fm at school. It is stressful, but they do it. Maybe just start off with lots of txts. It helps to reassure the parent they are ok.




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