Last summer, I wrote about RM’s safety seat drama with Crappy Transportation Company to her outplacement AMAZING AUTISM SCHOOL. The seat issue was resolved. I’d love to tell you that after those painful dealings, the company stopped being a bunch of assholes and realized that we weren’t messing around. Not so much.
The following email was Round Three with Crappy Transportation Company via this note to our district SpedHead last week:
On Thursday afternoon, February 16th, 2012, our driver Mr. Awesome informed us that he had accepted a new position elsewhere and was planning to give Crappy Transportation Company his official two-week notice the following morning. This was very sad news for us, as Mr. Awesome was an amazing gift to us. He worked to get to know RM and the other children on the van, and he took his responsibility to our children very personally. We were angered, yet not surprised, to be told on Friday that Mr. Awesome was fired on the spot and that he would not be allowed to finish out his two weeks of notice. We were never contacted by Crappy Transportation Company, and still have not received any notice concerning who will be taking over the route, or what other changes will be made. Instead, this morning our daughter walked out the door to a white Caravan and was presented with three complete strangers in this tiny, new vehicle that seated six – a new driver, monitor, and the driver’s granddaughter. For ten months prior, she had been riding in a yellow 10-passenger full-sized van with Mr. Awesome and Miss Wonderful the monitor. I am sure you can recognize the sheer sensory attack such a huge change in vehicle alone would bring to a child like RM, but to also change every other aspect of her transportation without warning is just cruel. The car seats for RM and her boyfriend were not labeled (they are identical, yet adjusted to different settings) and RM’s piddle-pad that I had purchased had not been transferred from the other van. Also, the previous route included two other children. Are they no longer riding this route? I can tell you, SpedHead, that we already had concerns about all four children on the same larger van due to the age and size of the other boys. I certainly cannot imagine them being squeezed into this new, tiny van with two smaller children like RM and Boyfriend. Again, it is completely unacceptable that we have not been given so much as names for the new driver and monitor, let alone we still have not been contacted by Crappy Transportation Company to discuss any of these changes.
On top of all of this stress for RM today, Crappy Transportation Company neglected to advise the new driver of the specific route requirement for the afternoon – that RM be dropped off prior to Boyfriend. This was a negotiated change from last April, that was determined rather quickly as RM was unable to handle arriving at Boyfriend’s house on the way home from school because she associated it with a playdate there, whereas Boyfriend was comfortable with the van arriving at our house and then proceeding to his. Today, RM was screaming, kicking in tears in Boyfriend’s driveway and the new driver had no idea that taking the route in reverse even mattered. No one at Crappy Transportation Company had informed her, and certainly relieving Mr. Awesome of his duties in the manner that he was, left no way for him to relay that information.
Our relationship with Crappy Transportation Company administration, namely Candy, The Manager I Would Love to Meet in a Dark Alley, has not been a smooth one. We have had issues previously over seemingly simple things like car seats and advanced notice of route changes. Soon after RM started at AMAZING AUTISM SCHOOL and my repeated requests for an appropriate car seat for her went unanswered, I found that she had been riding in a toddler seat too small for her size that was THIRTEEN years old. SGM and I disposed of the seat as that was the only way to get Candy, The Manager I Would Love to Meet in a Dark Alley to replace it. She was belligerent on the telephone and implied that a safety seat was not her responsibility, it belonged to the district. Yet when I asked other members of the office at Crappy Transportation Company about seats that StimCity BOE had provided, they responded that brand-new larger boosters were provided but Candy, The Manager I Would Love to Meet in a Dark Alley was unwilling to unwrap them and allow the children to use them. That situation was eventually resolved. Again in August of last year, Candy, The Manager I Would Love to Meet in a Dark Alley made difficulties for the families on the van by changing monitors without prior notice. As you are aware, children with autism do not handle changes to their routine well at all. It was yet another battle with Candy, The Manager I Would Love to Meet in a Dark Alley to reason with her, and in the process a substitute monitor who by all means seemed pleasant and dutiful, was fired and then reinstated the following day.
This kind of turmoil in transportation is troubling. We expect a level of professionalism and care in the service of our child, and you should know that Crappy Transportation Company administration has not delivered. This is a true shame, since Mr. Awesome was a wonderful addition, highly overqualified, and left only for reasons that relate to the treatment by Candy, The Manager I Would Love to Meet in a Dark Alley.
We want to continue to keep the lines of communication open, SpedHead, and the bottom line here is that Crappy Transportation Company is not keeping our family informed, recognizing the needs of the child, nor are they conducting themselves in a manner that is becoming of a company dedicated to special needs transportation.
We ask that you follow up with Crappy Transportation Company and that we are informed of the plan going forward.
SGM and I request that this email become a permanent part of RM’s school file.
Thank you, SpedHead–
TO BE CONTINUED…