Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bus Driver

I'm enraged. Tonight on Channel 7 there was a story about a bus driver, Yolande Knight, who left a 4-year old autistic boy on her bus while she went shopping. The Thomas Jefferson School in Niles called the parents of the boy when he didn't show up to school that morning. An hour later the boy was found alone inside the bus, which was in Glenview while the driver was shopping at a card/party store. The driver was fired. THANK GOD!

After I saw the story while I was folding clothes at almost 2am, the story lingered in my head and I stopped folding. Suddenly I thought about Nikko, how he has no words yet, and how he is going to be in preschool in the fall, and I started to heave sobs. When Nikko is on the bus to school, I will not be able to protect him. I will have to get to know that bus driver very well, especially after this story. I feel so bad because Nikko is going to be helpless. Suddenly I feel all the more urgency to get him to start talking. Maybe it was foresight or karma that I had that conversation with Gloria earlier today, or that I was speculating just this afternoon why I am stressing about Nikko's learning abilities. I even spoke with Luisa about Nikko's future and wondered aloud why I am panicking right now. I am worried about Nikko and preschool, if he will be able to function. Even more so, I am worried about his safety because he is nonverbal. In a way I'm getting mad at all the people who think Nikko will be just fine right now if he's left alone somewhere or with someone who doesn't fully understand him, or thinks he is just like all the other kids. HE ISN'T. If Nikko were on that bus there is no way he could communicate danger except to cry and scream. It breaks my heart to picture him strapped into a seat trying to break free. I am suddenly scared that someone will try to take advantage of him, especially some bastard predator. This is why I am very protective of him and can't fathom him being in the company of strangers. I don't think I'm being overly protective, at least not at this very second. How could I be? He doesn't know how to TALK. He can't communicate his needs. We are so very behind on his development!! Again, I ask, what can I do to help bridge the gap of his comprehension?? I am anxious all over again. I'm going to have to vent to Cyndi about this, I'm glad I'll see her on Friday. I've got to develop some kind of activity schedule I can do with Nikko and Ronin, since they are close developmentally, to see if I can teach them both at the same time how to function in this world. I have never felt so helpless as a mother as I do right now.


  1. Hey Mich,

    After you talk to Cyndi about developing an activity schedule, let me know how I can help. I can spend some time this weekend at your place and help you figure out what we can do. I can even come over at 10pm when all kids (your and mine) are asleep. I'll call you. I'm on Team Nikko!

  2. Hey mich,
    I read about that bus driver this afternoon and my heart goes out to the parents and the poor boy. After reading that article and your most recent blog, I can only imagine how heavy your heart must be with all the concerns that you mentioned about nikko and entrusting him to others.
    I remember someone told me that children are like "a little piece of your heart". That has feet and hands and is not connected to your body and how hard it is to watch this piece of your heart sometimes knowing that you cant always be there to protect it. All moms want to give their child the world and would rather have their pain than their child. Hold your head up high knowing that you are doing all that you can do, exploring options, educating yourself on his disease, thinking outside of the box, seeking professional help etc, etc to give nikko the opportunity to flourish to be the boy we know he can and is. Are you part of a support group for parents? do you have a community where you can vent some of these feelings with others in a similar situation.
    If i can help in any way, let me know.. i'm here for you and wish you much love peace and strength...
    love ollie

  3. Thanks so much ladies, for your support. I had already blogged for the evening and hadn't intended on doing any more, until I saw that news clip re: the Bus Driver. I couldn't help but pour out all that. A lady named Cyndi is my social services coordinator assigned to give me a shoulder and an ear, and she has been great to me. Again, thanks for reading... I forget how I might sound to others, probably have the same fears as most other mothers so I realize that I'm not the only one in the world with problems. The blogging helps, and so do you guys. :)