School Transport Woes

I love George’s school. It is the single biggest factor in his development over the years. The downside to it is that it is 13 miles away through heavy traffic, it’s an almost two hour round trip twice a day to drive George. That’s four hours a day on the road cutting into the time I have, without George, to work, write, and exercise. It essentially leaves me just four hours during the day. So I worked, I stopped writing, I stopped exercising and I just worked, drove, looked after George, and slept.

George’s team at the school could see the effect this was having on me and insisted George be moved onto council-funded transport. I was apprehensive but we were not really given much choice. It turned out George was fine with it, transport, not so much.

Positive Start

George moved over to transport from January. He has immense difficulty with Christmas so I wanted this change to his routine to occur in the new year to lessen its impact. in hindsight that wasn’t necessary, he adapted to it easily. He, in fact, was thrilled.

Every morning we would go out and wait for our driver and passenger assistant and George would make it clear, with body language, he was going to wait and not get in my car. We were really pleased.

For me it was life-changing. I started exercising and was able to eat well without the need for quick energy-boosting foods that were terrible for me. I had time to start this blog and work on my business. I found new work, I lost weight, I felt great!

Won’t Sit Still

Unfortunately, the positive start did not last for long. I was informed on a Friday that George was not behaving in the car and refused to stay in his seatbelt. He had a clip that prevented him from opening the belt but he simply slid down and escaped that way. Either to sit up on his knees or to go explore the boot. I agreed to collect him that day and to resume the school run from Monday while we worked this out.

I had a meeting the end of that next week at the school with a representative from the council transport team, the parent liaison from the school, George’s teacher and a member of CAMHS who knows George well. We agreed to trial George back in his mini-bus using a harness. The harness would prevent him from being able to get out of his seatbelt and, hopefully, allow him to stay on transport.

All Good?

Sadly not. I thought so, in fact, I didn’t actually hear anything overly negative until, towards the end of half term, I get a phone call from Transport telling me it’s still not working out. Apparently George got upset and that led to the other children getting upset too.

They want George to go in a taxi with a one-to-one personal assistant but need time to hire and train people. So once again I am doing the school run. At least for now though I am only doing it in the mornings with a taxi bringing him home in the afternoon.

Overall, I am mostly glad we live in a country where these options are provided, it is amazing that, when needed, George can literally take a taxi to and from school at an immense cost to the council. The team there and at the school have been working hard to make this work. I just really hope a solution can be found that is permanent as the change to my life has been immense. My health is hugely improved, my general mood is lifted, I’m working more. I literally need this time without George.

Fingers crossed it all works out, I’ll update you when I know!

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