Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Why So Many Changes?
Ashley has been receiving ESY services for six weeks so far this summer. During those six weeks, she has had three different bus drivers, three different bus aides, three different busses and three different bus schedules. Her ESY hours have not changed – for the entire six weeks she has been receiving services from 8am until noon each day.
I just don’t get it. I will acknowledge that setting up bus schedules during the regular school year is a daunting task. A whole bunch of students have to be delivered to a whole bunch of schools. But during the summer, the numbers are drastically reduced. Why three major changes in six weeks??
As all parents of children with disabilities, especially children with significant disabilities, know, changes are difficult. For a child like Ashley who is deafblind, all the differences are magnified. Each bus, driver, and aide smell and feel different. She can tell when the time the bus arrives is different. She gets anxious when the schedule changes, and changes significantly. For the last two weeks, she was picked up at 7:10am each morning. Starting this week, she is picked up at 7:40am. She is going to the same school and school starts at the same time. So what is up with the significant schedule change?
And I’m tired of having to go through my spiel each time there is a change – “Ashley is deaf. She can’t hear you talking to her. She is blind. She cannot see the steps to disembark from the bus. She has seizures. Here is what they look like. Here is what you need to do and not do when she has one. Yes, she prefers to sit in the first seat behind the driver. No, you may not take away her ball of wires and pipecleaners. Etc. Etc. Etc.”
There are four weeks of ESY services yet to be delivered. Does anyone want to take bets on how many more bus changes and schedule changes Ashley will be expected to handle?