“Do We Have a Bad Neighbor?” -Janet

Happy 2018 everyone!! We live in Canada and have been dealing with a lot of cold weather and snow here. It’s been one cold winter!! So my CTD kiddo takes a bus to school. My other children walk the 10 minutes to their home school down the road, but my CTD kiddo gets a bus and goes about 20 minutes away from our home to attend a special needs class.

It’s a class for children who function below the curriculum. So the bus picks him up in front of our house and drives him to his school. On his bus at all times are 2 educational assistants from his class. They help the students enter and exit the bus. They also communicate necessary information with the parents of these special needs children.

So, my son, who is 8, behaves like a 2 or 3-year-old. He cannot communicate with his teachers. We use a communication book with his teacher on a daily basis to discuss basic needs and daily schedules.

To get people up-to-date on my kiddo and his needs, my son also has autism and has really significant challenges with transitions. On school days I have to get him out of bed, dressed, medicated, fed, and then dressed to leave the house in the cold, and it’s no small task…

So, there are days where to get him out the door after all of that, is at times impossible. A lot of the time I am prompting him… using transitional items to get him to walk out the door. We have a visual schedule… It’s a fight. There are times it gets physical. I’m not going to lie. He will kick and scream and actively refuse clothing. There are times I’m carrying him down our driveway to the waiting bus, as he is screaming, punching me in the head, slapping my face, as well as kicking his footwear off on the way.

Are there other CTD parents out there who deal with this??? Behavior takes such a toll!! And all of this happens at 7:35 a.m…

Let’s just admit it’s a hard way to start the day.

So I’m out the door finally with my child to his patiently waiting bus. As soon as his driver sees our exit from our house he extends the bus safety arm to prevent cars from driving past the bus as he waits for us.

As I get my CTD kiddo on the bus safely, and I pass off his backpack and meds… I try to give a sentence or two to the Educational Assistants about his morning or any important info about meds or appointments, meals, or that sort of thing. And to be honest here, I have had days where we are interrupted by the honking of an inpatient neighbor, in their vehicle waiting behind the bus. It’s the same neighbor every time.

Guys… who in their right mind has ever honked their car horn at a school bus boarding students? Let alone boarding a special needs child in front of their family home?

I just don’t know what to do…

They don’t know the effort and stress involved in getting Spiro down to the bus every morning. There’s no crystal ball looking into our lives. But their horn honking makes me feel like I’m not a good parent. Almost like I’m seen as someone who isn’t capable of handling my child. I’m observed in my own neighborhood as an inconvenience. My child isn’t worth 2 minutes of your patience.

I almost want a sign at the ready to be lifted up which says ‘Honk your horn if this special needs child is inconveniencing your commute.’

So, to everyone reading this post. Be patient. Anytime you are behind anything… a car, a bus, a pedestrian crossing the road…

You don’t know the whole story, the history or the weight of the moment.

If we all took a lesson from his impatient neighbor’s horn honking it would certainly benefit our community. I know that the horn honking has placed a weight on me as I walk through my neighborhood. A feeling like… someone is annoyed at my family’s presence. Instead of… “I see you… I see your child… take your time…”

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