The School Bus

     Today marked a first of many firsts that I will experience as the parent of an autistic child. To many it will seem trivial but to us, this is a step towards independence. My children rode the bus for the first time today. I include all three of my children in this accomplishment because for any parent out there, placing your children in the care of others is a big deal but for us it is even more poignant. Because today Myriam rode the bus home by herself (sans brothers) along with all of the other "typical" children.

     The decision for Myriam to ride the bus was a difficult one. We very much want Myriam to do all of the things that typical children do. We want her to have all of the opportunities and experiences that any child (not on the spectrum) has. We crave normalcy in all things. But the fact is, our concerns for our children will always be colored by autism. The "can she, will she" questions will always linger.

"Can she handle the sensory overload that will occur on the bus?"
"Will she be able to communicate her needs in a stressful situation?"
"Will she even be able to tell the driver her name if asked?"
     We are supremely fortunate to have the most caring group of educators and community members assisting us on this journey of raising such a special child. Today was a perfect example of that. Apparently, as Myriam was boarding the bus, her teacher was questioned by several concerned parents about whether Myriam was supposed to be riding the bus. Wow! I also received numerous texts and phone calls from friends and Myriam's teacher, double checking that Myriam was in fact a "bus kid". Again Wow!
Our cup runnth over.
     I cannot express how thankful we are for everyone's concern; how fortunate we are for your caring. The idea that one child, that seldom speaks to people with whom she isn't completely familiar, elicits such strong emotions in others is truly humbling.
     Myriam arrived home from her bus ride just as I expected she would, with a smile on her face. She went straight into the house, after the most cursory of greetings, and guzzled water. Apparently, bus riding is thirsty work! She then swung in her swing for a few minutes, ate her snack and requested some cartoons. So very typical.
Our cup runnth over indeed,.

Peace Out!
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