Bus Stop Blues…

My son’s bus came whizzing up our street, and instead of slowing and stopping at the corner, he just barely slowed down and turned.  I stood watching from my driveway, wondering  – “what the ??  Where is my son?”. 

 So, I thought, “ok.  no need to panic.  He’s probably fine.  Maybe, he missed the bus… maybe he needed to stay after to get a book?”.   Still, the overly-motherly-worrisome voice in the back of my head couldn’t help throwing in it’s 2 cents – “Maybe he was kidnapped by aliens and being held hostage against his will?!?!”.  I shook any “what-if-terrible-scenarios” out of my head and  reverted back to the calm rationalle mom that I am…  “No… no.. I’m sure it’s one of the first things”,  I thought. 

So, I called the school.   The school called the bus.  The bus driver reports back to the school, who reports back to me, that my son IS on the bus. 

Ok.  ?  So, now I’m just wondering WHY he didn’t get OFF the bus.  ?? 

My questions are all answered when AC finally comes strolling up the street about 35 minutes later.  He informs me that since he got a ride to school that morning, his bus driver assumed he wasn’t on the bus in the afternoon. 

me: – “well? didn’t you tell him when he blew by your stop?”

AC:  “yeah!  When the driver didn’t stop to let me off at my stop, I went up to him and said, “umm? my stop was back there”. 

me: “yeah? and? ”

AC: “and the driver was all huffy and he told me, “well, you weren’t on the bus this morning, so I didn’t think you were on the bus… and you didn’t answer when I called your name!”.  

me: “he called your name?”

AC: “he said he did…. but, I guess he just yelled it out and I didn’t hear him because he didn’t even use the loud speaker thing and I was in the back of the bus”. 

me: *sigh* (Inside, my heart breaks a little when stupid and frustrating things like this happen to my son.) I said to him, “great… and, did you tell him you couldn’t hear him and that he needs to use the speaker next time? ” (I was guessing he did NOT, because self-advocacy is something we are working on).   

AC:  “yeah, I did.  I said, “I didn’t hear you… I have a *Hearing disability*” – (and he made a gesture pointing to his HA’s as he said it.

Me: “you said that?? really?” (I could hardly believe it.  My son doens’t like to point out his HA’s usually).  I smiled…  and said, “good for you.  And what did he say?”

AC: “he said, “oh”… well you’ll have to wait til the end of the route and I’ll take you back”.

So, my son still had to ride around for an extra 40 minutes… and he was NOT happy about that.  He also confided in me later that he HATED saying that he has a “disability”… and we tried to come up with alternate things he could say. 

However – I consider this a big step, and a victory.  It is one of the first times my son stood up for himself… that he explained to someone that he does have a hearing loss…. and, didn’t just accept whatever they were dishing out as if he had done something wrong when he hadn’t.   

I’m proud of him.

We also discussed how the driver probably didn’t know…  and now that he does know – hopefully he’ll remember to use the speaker. 

~deb

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5 Responses

  1. How about “I’m hard of hearing”…at least it avoids the word disability, and most people know what it means. We haven’t gotten there yet; my Sweet Pea is in complete denial about her hearing loss. Ugh. Keep the posts coming. It’s great to know there are others out there who are dealing with the same stuff!!

  2. Hi Kathryn & thanks. Yeah… I heard it’s common for kids (especially tweens and teens) to hit that “denial” era – and I’m trying real hard to avoid it.

    AC and I talked about using the term “hard of hearing” – but, he didn’t really like that either. I guess, he doesn’t really like any of the options – and I can’t say I blame him.

    I also suggested just telling people: “I can’t hear you if you don’t _____ ”
    And fill in the blank with –
    “speak up”, “use the FM”, use the speaker, get my attention first, or face me when you’re talking – etc. This way, he’s not only letting them know he has a hearing loss, but also letting THEM know what THEY can do at the same time.

    Middle school is a lot more challenging – but, so far – so good.

  3. Way to go “Deb’s son”! I’m proud of him too and he’s not even mine! That first step for advocating in a positive way is the toughest. Hopefully, it will get easier for him. It’s wise to remind him though, that sometimes he’ll run into a REAL jerk, and it will make you feel like not speaking up the next time. (Although this bus driver was a borderline “jerk” – smile). I always tell myself, that I MUST continue speaking up as it will hopefully help the “next HoH person”.
    Great post!

  4. Hi “hearingelmo” =) Thanks. Yes – I was/am pretty proud of him.
    Hey – I added you to my blogroll – hope that’s okay. I love your site and am a huge dog lover myself. Although I’ve never had a “service” dog – I love learning more about what great things dogs&people can do. Keep up the good work!
    Deb

  5. The bus is one of the hardest times for my daughter. In fact, she takes her aid out at this time or mutes it. It is really loud on the bus and the drivers are aware of this I’m sure. I am with you with your joy of him speaking up for himself. It is a huge step in acceptance of what makes him special..not different. You are doing a great job and I know it’s tough. My daughter when she was small used to fall asleep on the her bus ride home..when she wasn’t aided. She used to say that it was easier to just close her eyes and sleep then try to listen in all the noise. We face a huge task in helping our kids…Keep up the good work. You will be thanked someday and will have a wonderful, strong little boy who will know how important it is that he hears in all situations and what to do about it:) Peace to you and your family:)

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