#1
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My son is 4yrs and started school/nursery at a special needs school yesterday. He has a taxi and escort provided and I got these details through the post about a month ago...all seemed to be going to plan.

I phoned the taxi driver on tuesday for the first time (i was a bit put out that he had not phoned to introduce himself or anything) so i just phoned to check all was well, he said it was but then started asking where the school was and how to get there. I told him i had only driven there once and i used my sat nav so couldnt give him directions (its a 40 minute journey).

Anyway, yesterday morning at 8.05 (supposed to pick son up at 8.10)he phoned and told me he had broken down, ok that cant be helped, so i took my son in myself for his first morning (he is going 5 mornings per week).

This morning he turned up, and it turns out its his wife who is the escort. I get to the taxi and they just kind of took over and he lifted him into the taxi and the wife then tried to lift him into the car seat that had been provided by the LEA...this dispite me saying i will do it, he doesnt like being touched (he's autistic). The car seat was way too small so he had to travel on the normal seat with the seat belt on, the escort continually tried to move the diagnal belt over his head, i insisted he wear it properly.
She also kept fully stroking his head..from his eyes right over the back of his head...almost like you would a dog. I told her he doesnt like it and it was making him cry more. I dont think she understood me as she didnt say a word to me so assume her english is limited.

I left with my son in tears and me not far off! A few minutes afterwards i felt awful for leaving him with them Sad

I spoke to the school who said they would let me know how he was when he arrived. They phoned and said he was ok and that they had had a word with the escort and driver about letting me strap him in and limited touching etc.

On return my son seemed relaxed, but it was a different escort (daughter this time i think)and they had travelled him with just the middle lap belt. I said i would phone the relevant people and get a booster seat sorted. The driver said over and over again that the lap belt was meant for children and that he didnt need a booster. In the end i just agreed but phoned the transport lady for the LEA and she was very unimpressed that he said he didnt need a booster, she is phoning him to get him to go and buy one and they will reimburse him. She is also having words about the escorts and going to tell him that there are to be no more people other than the two my son has already met. Oh, they also told me my son cried for the FULL hour to the school this morningSad

All this has just left me with no confidence in the driver and escorts. The fact that they didnt listen to me, clearly had NO idea what autism is or how to deal with it and the fact he couldnt even be bothered to find out where the school was before he agreed to take the job.

Oh, he also started lecturing me about how the journey takes an hour and its too far for a 4 year old and there are closer schools etc...journey is 40 minutes in good traffic, he should have known it would be an hour in rush hour.

I am thinking i will just see how they are tomorrow and if they dont listen or he is obviously upset im going to ask for another driver.
I dont know, am i blowing this out of proportion??
#2
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Reading this has made me so angry, you shouldn't have to worry about your son getting to school every morning. I can't believe the driver wasn't given full instructions before taking the job on, and as for him lecturing you on where your son should be going to school..... I know people mean well when you have a disabled child but what gives them the right to think they know better than you what is right for your child.

I hope you get this sorted as it sounds horrendous.x
#3
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(05-05-2011, 12:56 PM)monkeynut Wrote: My son is 4yrs and started school/nursery at a special needs school yesterday. He has a taxi and escort provided and I got these details through the post about a month ago...all seemed to be going to plan.

I phoned the taxi driver on tuesday for the first time (i was a bit put out that he had not phoned to introduce himself or anything) so i just phoned to check all was well, he said it was but then started asking where the school was and how to get there. I told him i had only driven there once and i used my sat nav so couldnt give him directions (its a 40 minute journey).

Anyway, yesterday morning at 8.05 (supposed to pick son up at 8.10)he phoned and told me he had broken down, ok that cant be helped, so i took my son in myself for his first morning (he is going 5 mornings per week).

This morning he turned up, and it turns out its his wife who is the escort. I get to the taxi and they just kind of took over and he lifted him into the taxi and the wife then tried to lift him into the car seat that had been provided by the LEA...this dispite me saying i will do it, he doesnt like being touched (he's autistic). The car seat was way too small so he had to travel on the normal seat with the seat belt on, the escort continually tried to move the diagnal belt over his head, i insisted he wear it properly.
She also kept fully stroking his head..from his eyes right over the back of his head...almost like you would a dog. I told her he doesnt like it and it was making him cry more. I dont think she understood me as she didnt say a word to me so assume her english is limited.

I left with my son in tears and me not far off! A few minutes afterwards i felt awful for leaving him with them :(

I spoke to the school who said they would let me know how he was when he arrived. They phoned and said he was ok and that they had had a word with the escort and driver about letting me strap him in and limited touching etc.

On return my son seemed relaxed, but it was a different escort (daughter this time i think)and they had travelled him with just the middle lap belt. I said i would phone the relevant people and get a booster seat sorted. The driver said over and over again that the lap belt was meant for children and that he didnt need a booster. In the end i just agreed but phoned the transport lady for the LEA and she was very unimpressed that he said he didnt need a booster, she is phoning him to get him to go and buy one and they will reimburse him. She is also having words about the escorts and going to tell him that there are to be no more people other than the two my son has already met. Oh, they also told me my son cried for the FULL hour to the school this morning:(

All this has just left me with no confidence in the driver and escorts. The fact that they didnt listen to me, clearly had NO idea what autism is or how to deal with it and the fact he couldnt even be bothered to find out where the school was before he agreed to take the job.

Oh, he also started lecturing me about how the journey takes an hour and its too far for a 4 year old and there are closer schools etc...journey is 40 minutes in good traffic, he should have known it would be an hour in rush hour.

I am thinking i will just see how they are tomorrow and if they dont listen or he is obviously upset im going to ask for another driver.
I dont know, am i blowing this out of proportion??

#4
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Definately not over reacting!!! I would have smacked that womans hand right of my sons head!!!!

As for not needing a booster seat and telling you where you should send your child to school...he hasnt got a clue!!!

At least the LEA person was supportive, try and give it a few more days as the first day will always be a bit hit and miss but if it continues you should definately ask for different people as its hard enough to send your child off with other people, you dont need the extra worry of whether your son is upset. Makes me angry.

Hope it goes better tommorrow Smile
Proud mum of 3...... Dani,13, amazing child....Sofie,11, my smiler, physically disabled, 3 strokes aged 2, speech issues, learning difficulties, epilepsy.... and Luke,2, diagnosed with autism January 2011, non-verbal cheeky chappy.
#5
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Hi, I am really angry when reading this, you must have been so worried. Who is she to touch your child's head and tell you about closer schools?? You are not over reacting at all, isn't it by law that they must have a booster seat?? I really hope things will be better tomorrow morning and on a positive he was calm coming home and maybe the upset was due to change of routine..... please keep us updated. Big hugs. X
Things can be hard on occasions but well worth it!Heart


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