2. Expecting the Unexpected: Talk to them about what typically can happen while riding a school bus. Bring up scenarios and ways to react when something unexpected might happen. Teaching stories are a great way to prepare your child for something they have never experienced before. It provides visuals and a kid friendly use of vocabulary to describe situations that are a little more complex.
3. Incorporating Individualized Supports: Children with Autism can be overwhelmed from a sensory standpoint, so describing the features and environment of a school bus can be helpful. Figure out the way your child responds to senses of light, sound, touch, pain, and balance, and accommodate to those sensory needs. For example, headphones or fidgets can cater to overstimulation and reduce stress while riding the bus.
4. Offer Encouragement and Support: Remind your child that the school bus can be overwhelming for everyone, and they are not alone. Talk to them about adults at the school they can go to for support and remind them that the school bus will get them home safe and sound every day!
5. Look Into School Supports: Depending on the type of school bus your child rides, there may be accommodations available through your school system. Schools also might offer trial runs, which can be a great way to introduce the bus before the first day of school. Individualized Education Program Staff are your best source of help when looking for this type of accommodation.
6. Connect Your Child with their School Community: Do your best to have teachers, bus drivers, and even other children get to know your child! School can be a scary place for some and having friendly faces and people looking out for your child can always be beneficial.