Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Autism When The Bus Doesn't Show Up

In Still no bus for autistic boy the Hamilton Spectator tells the story of Joey Van Dyk a 13 year old autistic boy with a kindergarten functioning level who has been left stranded for the first five days of school this year when his bus didn't show up. Joey usually takes a bus to a school for special needs students. Joey's dad has had to leave work, which begins early each day, in order to get Joey to school. Joey's mom says that the disruption of routine is difficult for Joey:

"It was particularly upsetting for Joey, who Van Dyk estimates functions at the age of a kindergarten student. Routine, she stresses, is extremely important to him, adding that his educators had a hard time calming him down last week. "The more things I can keep routine for him, the better," she said."

Most parents of autistic children understand exactly what Joey's mom means when she stresses the importance of routine. Hopefully Joey's school district officials acquire the same understanding.

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