Friday, October 16, 2009

Didn't Anyone Teach You To Not Mess With The Lion Cub?

Here are the facts:

  • Since the start of this school year, Ashley has shown up at school with bruises on her arms. She did not have the bruises when she left home.

  • Last week, Ashley showed up with a deep scratch above her right eye. She did not have the scratch when she left home.

  • Ashley’s teacher and I have discussed the bruises and the scratch via email many times.

  • Last Friday, one of the school transportation supervisors called me to ask about the injuries. Please note that I said “called me”. I did not initiate the call.

  • That supervisor said she would ‘pull the tape’ from the bus and call me back. When she called me back, she and I tried to figure out a way to get Ashley on another bus, but their and my scheduling just wouldn’t mesh. As an alternative, that supervisor told me she would bring the bus driver and aide in for additional training (which I believe happened earlier this week).

  • I have told the bus driver and aide many times that Ashley is deaf and blind. They continue to talk to her and seem to get frustrated when she doesn’t respond or acknowledge.

  • Yesterday, the bus driver called another supervisor to report that Ashley got on the bus with a scratch over her right eye, and two black eyes.

  • The supervisor that the bus driver contacted then emailed nine other school district staff to relate what the bus driver had said.

Okay, let’s take a closer look at all this. The scratch happened last week but the bus driver reported it yesterday. Ashley did not have black eyes, she has dark circles under her eyes from not sleeping due to nightly seizures.

I wonder why all of a sudden (seemingly after the ‘additional training’) the bus driver felt compelled to do a bruise and scratch check on Ashley. I also wonder why the transportation supervisor he contacted felt compelled to email NINE other people, many of whom don’t know or don’t interact with Ashley. And, just for the record, I was NOT one of the nine.

Fortunately, the assistant principal at Ashley’s school felt it was important to keep me in the loop and did send me a copy of the supervisor’s email.

So, Mr. bus driver and Ms. Transportation supervisor, I’ve tried to play nicely this school year. I’ve tried not to overreact. I’ve been pleasant when all you do is grunt hello when Ashley gets on the bus. I didn’t get angry when you asked me “How well do you communicate with Ashley” twice so far, and then told me “Then tell her to get off the bus when she gets to school”. Unlike some parents, I also have Ashley ready in the morning, usually waiting at the end of the driveway, so your bus schedule won’t fall behind. I’ve explained numerous times how to communicate with Ashley, and shown you some of the key signs you would need. And I’ve told you “Have a good day” every single day when what I was thinking was not so nice. But now it ends.

Up yours and I hope your day sucks.

Today I am thankful for my computer's antivirus software. It saved me this morning...Now, I just wish we had an antivirus program for our bodies. Then we wouldn't have to worry about H1N1.


Shelly said...

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jwg said...

Just to be safe, make a big point of taking her picture every morning as she gets on the bus, in front of the driver and aide. It will drive them nuts! Then start complaining about discrimination because they are not even atttempting to communicate with her. Throw in harrassment, of you. Demand another bus. And no, I'm not being sarcastic. Sometimes it takes being a royal pain to get what you need.

Corrie Howe said...

Wow. I'm glad that you've got some pro-active people on your side. However, I liked what the person above my comment said. I hope it doesn't come down to this or something else.

Queenbuv3 said...

I have had my own battles with the bus company that Stephen takes.

I agree that taking a photo every day of her before and after is a good way to document things.

Good for you for not letting this rest. Please keep us posted : )

Azaera said...

I totally agree take a picture of her each morning before she gets on the bus. And wow does this ever make me scared about sending my own little blind child to school. Yikes.. I mean how is she supposed to know to get off the bus when she's at school if she can't see to tell that they are at school, and can't hear them tell her where they are?? Why do school systems hire morons?

Dalya said...

What about asking the teacher to take her photo when she gets to school as well?? You seem to have found a kindred soul in Ashley's teacher this year and I'm sure she would help!!


Jen said...

Hi! What a great first post to read as a new visitor! GO GET EM! I found you through 5minsforspecialneeds. I blog at and have 2 daughters with special needs ( 9 yr old has aspergers, 6 yr old has adhd) and have 2 other younger children. I listed your blog on my special needs blogroll and wanted to tell you about it! Subscribing and will visit often!

Marla said...

Sigh. I am so sorry. Catching up I was hoping to read that school was going better. We have had challenges here as well. Not to the degree Ashley is facing though. I am glad to be back and begin advocating for our girls again. Hugs and kisses for Ashley.