Two weeks into the Summer Bus Experiment and I am convinced that JJ has a real reason to fear getting on the bus. His complete change in demeanor and the way he immediately tenses his body- it's obvious he is afraid. He goes from being perfectly happy before it arrives, to shaking and crying and refusing to go near the school bus.
There is no way to prove my suspicions. I don't even have my suspicions narrowed down to a specific day or event. I know when JJ started protesting getting on the school bus. I know when I could not convince him to enter the school building any longer. I know when he started being extremely, obsessively attached to me. So I have to assume that someone in one of these places (the classroom or the bus) has made him afraid. From there I hate to even speculate what actually happened. It makes me angry and furious and sick to my stomach, and ultimately helpless. If JJ has no way of telling me the facts- then they will never be know to me.
So now what? How can I continue to beg/bribe/plead with him to get on the bus? I feel like I am betraying him by trying to send him to a place where he feels unsafe. I am his safe place, and yet a few times a week I try to push him away into the world that can hurt him so easily. I can't do it. It hurts us both.
But the fact remains that my precious boy needs help. Speech therapy, social interaction, PECS and sign language, occupational therapy, etc, etc. I can't be that person who is pushing him all day long. I need to be simply his mom, to love him, and I need the help of others to teach him. I do what I can here at home- but I admit it isn't close to what this boy needs. So he has to go to school. If he were to be in a classroom where he felt safe, I know he would progress. I believe it is the best thing for him- to be out and around other children, learning from example, someday making friends, and picking up skills that will make his life a little easier.
I'm just so unsure as to what the next step should be. I want to do the best thing for JJ, and for the rest of my family. I can't stand the thought of him being victimized. I would protect him with all my might. I don't want him to be afraid. My heart hurts.