The Worry I Feel as My Child With a Disability Takes School Transport for the First Time


In a few weeks my beautiful first-born child will start school.

My precious boy.

I’ve had a knot in my stomach for months just thinking about it.

I have lots of worries about Brody starting school. No doubt similar to other parents out there walking a similar path to ours. When your child has a learning disability, can’t talk, lacks danger awareness and has medical conditions, lots of worst case scenarios can play out in your mind when you think about trusting them in the care of other people. It’s impossible for me not to worry about “what ifs.”

But right now, the thing that is at the forefront of my mind — because it’s the first thing we’ll encounter on this new journey — is the school taxi.

And right now, I hate the thought of it.

Trusting someone else to take my son to school.

Instead of me.

Trusting someone else to drive carefully with him in the back.

Instead of me.

Trusting someone else to make sure he is safely in his seat.

Instead of me.

Trusting someone else to know how to administer emergency medication.

Instead of me.

And trusting someone else to be a welcoming face for Brody in the morning and then waiting for him when school finishes.

Instead of me.

His mum.

 

It’s all about trust and acceptance really, isn’t it? And that’s something some of us continually have to get our head around when parenting a child with disabilities. Because our children are vulnerable. They need more help. And some may struggle to communicate how they feel, as well as what they want and need.

Watching Brody disappear into a stranger’s car is something I dread. It’s going to be hard. Really hard. And I’m not really sure anyone understands that, except those who can relate.

Knowing he won’t understand why or where he is going — at least until it becomes a familiar routine — makes me feel sad and helpless. The mere thought that he could possibly find this upsetting is unbearable.

So I’m hoping he will take it all in stride and be OK. And that maybe, eventually, he might enjoy the ride to and from school. Lots of parents have reassured me their own children do.

I’m hoping this is one of those things that is much harder for parents. But I suppose it will become our norm. Eventually.

Despite being overwhelmed with feelings of fear, mixed with hideous mum guilt and admittedly some sadness, I know that school will be good for Brody. And I’m sure that the escort and taxi driver will take good care of him. I’m sure they’ll become part of his new routine. I’m sure I’ll maybe even one day be glad of the taxi on cold winter mornings (once I get over the fear of someone else driving him in various weather conditions, of course).

The school taxi will be good for us. Not only because I won’t be able to physically manage to take him to school in another village when his sister starts school, but because it’s a step forward in his independence. And that is good for him.

My beautiful boy.

Follow this journey at: Brody, Me & GDD.

A version of this post appeared on Firefly Community.

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