Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Noisy Bus Patron

I haven't really said much about the Beast here. I keep planning on giving some background info. on him, and just never get around to it. I'll add more details later, but the basic story is that he was born with a moderate/severe hearing loss that progressed to profound. He received a cochlear implant eight days after his third birthday, and has never looked back. We were okay with letting him be Deaf and taught him ASL from day one. He had other plans, though, and wanted to speak. He is now a completely mainstreamed oral deaf child. He signs when his equipment fails him or he's in a situation where he can't wear his aids.

He does have some "quirks". (Don't we all, though?) He has issues with sensory integration and a few social skills delays. On the other hand, he also has some gifts. His has a very high level of intellect (which, combined with the delays social skills, often causes some troubles. Anyway, that's a VERY simplified summary of the Beast's history.

He has come so far, and is really enjoying school this year. While he keeps his teacher on his toes, he is succeeding in a classroom full of "typical" children. He's happy there. He is not a fan of naptime, but I think that's par for the course when you're five years old and have ants in your pants. One of his favorite thing about school is that he has friends there. And he LOVES to talk to them. He will talk to anyone. This kid could befriend a corpse if he had to. He is just a genuinely loving and outgoing little guy. And he is making his bus driver nuts.

I got a phone call from the head of transportation from the school district today. It sounded like something horrible was happening on the bus and the Beast was going nuts. What really was happening is entirely a different story. The real problem? He's talking too loud and too much. He doesn't realize he's talking so loud. It is, afterall, a bus. Buses are noisy by themselves before you add in all the happy little kids. And his hearing is going more, so he's talking even louder. Apparently, they've moved him to a "solitary seat" in the back of the bus to try and get him to stop talking so much. Instead, he's frustrated and talking more and being deliberately annoying. *Sigh* Figures.

So, tomorrow I get to call the district guy and explain more about the Beast to him. I know they'd prefer him to take the special ed. bus, but I'm not budging on that. He's in a mainstream class. Why should he play with "typical" kids all day long and then be the only kid who has to take a different bus home at the end of the day? Nope! Not happening.

This is a chance for the driver to learn. Schools are all about educating, right?

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