My child with autism will attend a local college at the end of the month.
We have decided that most of time he can take a bus to school.
This led us to make a suggestion for a summer experiment.
What was the suggestion?
Practice your bus ride to school.
First, we got him a bus card.
Next, we showed him the nearest bus pick up/drop off… it is relatively close to our house.
He got himself prepared, too, because he had an idea of when and where he wanted to go on this journey.
Additionally, we had him download a bus App and explained how to read a bus schedule. These days, they make it easy with an App on your phone. You put in your “Leave From” and your “Destination” and you get the latest bus time (plus other bus times).
In other words, bus schedules are handier these days.
How did I help prepare my child?
We repeated a conversation we’ve had with him in the past.
“Be safe and make good choices.”
“Be wary of strangers.”
“Wear your mask on the bus and anywhere indoors.”
“Keep your stuff in your front pocket.”
“Call us for any reason.”
There were probably more, but those were the important ones.
In other words, we still had to be reasonable parents, even though we now have an adult child.
How did he do?
First, he has a limited bus pass (it only goes to one area), so the probability of him getting on a bus that took him to a far away area was very limited.
Before he left, he got the scheduled time and walked to the bus stop.
Once, he was on the bus, he texted me.
In addition, he texted me when he got off and went into our local mall.
He walked around the mall for a while, then got back on the bus home.
How did I feel when he walked back into the house?
Proud and relieved. Proud because he did a great job. All on his own.
Relieved because, well, I think I’ve always going to feel that way whenever my child gets home safely.
It’s another milestone, and an important one.
Next up, the driving permit.
Now, that one will scare me a more…I will cross that bridge when I get there.
In conclusion, the bus ride experiment has been conquered, and hopefully will go smoothly for the duration of his college experience.
It’s all we’re asking for…try something, have some success, and more onto the next thing.
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