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Worst day of school, Ever.....3 year old Autistic Boy

Posted by on Sep. 10, 2012 at 8:01 AM
  • 7 Replies

Autistic boy, 3, is 'delirious' and mom is angry after five-hour school bus ride home from Manhattan to Brooklyn

Education

Autistic boy, 3, is 'delirious' and mom is angry after five-hour school bus ride home from Manhattan to Brooklyn

Serena Vidal says son was distraught and had a loaded diaper after long trek. Bus operator Consolidated Transit admits 'a number of routing issues in the start of the school year'

Comments (11)

By / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Published: Monday, September 10, 2012, 3:00 AM
Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012, 3:00 AM
 
Levi Vidal (kid in red shirt and flanel button-down) boards his school bus home, Sept. 7, 2012.  Serena Vidal complained that her 3-year-old autistic son's bus ride home from school took five hours.  Levi, her son, went to school at NYL Gramercy School at 460 West 34th Street.  (Michael Ip for New York Daily News)

Michael Ip for New York Daily News

Serena Vidal, holding the hand of son Levi, says five-hour ride back from first day of school at Gramercy School in midtown left her 3-year-old autistic boy an emotional wreck.

 

THE FIRST DAY of school was tough enough for little Levi Vidal, a 3-year-old from Brooklyn, but the five-hour bus ride home reduced the autistic boy to crying hysterics.

Levi's trip with disabled classmates from the Gramercy School in midtown became an unbearable hell ride with no water and no relief.

"He was delirious, starving and in his full diaper," mom Serena Vidal said of the condition in which she found her normally upbeat toddler when he finally got to the family's Bergen Beach home.

"It's insane, heartbreaking. How can you treat kids like that?

"We rushed him straight to the bath to clean him up ," fumed the boy's father David Vidal, 39.

390_BUS10W

Levi's parents tried to comfort the boy as he ran around the house uncontrollably - and finally got him to bed two hours late.

The Education Department pays for the privately operated school buses used by 140,000 public school students, including 60,000 disabled kids like Levi.

Officials at the bus company admitted that they had a problem when the Daily News confronted them about Levi's hell ride and another route for disabled elementary kids that parents clocked at four hours on Thursday.

"(We) encountered a number of routing issues in the start of the school year," said Consolidated Bus Transit spokesman Peter Silverberg.

On Thursday, Vidal picked up Levi at school rather than risk another voyage of the damned. Door to door, barring traffic and stops to drop off other students, the trip should take 40 minutes, she said.

But on Friday, Levi's trip home was still horrific, albeit slightly less so: Three hours from midtown to Bergen Beach, 14 miles away.

article_bus_03

Michael Ip for New York Daily News

Serena Vidal, kisses son Levi after he gets off the bus Friday.

With seven other kids on the bus, the trip was never intended to be direct. But Vidal believes there's a much faster route.

And a News investigation suggested that additional buses might be needed to handle the outer-borough kids.

Carrying eight students, a matron and a driver, the bus plowed through grinding midtown traffic before depositing kids in the West Village, the East Village, the lower East Side and Chinatown, where the last Manhattan school kid was left with his parents before the bus headed to Brooklyn.

The driver took slow local streets through Fort Greene and Bedford-Stuyvesant and made nine more turns before Levi arrived at his home on 69th St. at 5:30 p.m., three hours after he boarded the bus.

Levi's tearful mother rushed to meet him as the bus pulled up to home, but the little boy's ordeal wasn't quite over

Up(Page 2 of 2)

The matron had given his book bag to another kid, so Levi was empty-handed, his prized firefighter knapsack lost.

"What's wrong with these people?" his angry mom asked. "They have no empathy."

Sofia Shapiro, 33, a physician from Riverdale, the Bronx, agreed, saying that her autistic son, Efraim, 4, had nearly three-hour rides home from his pre-K class at the Central Park Learning Center on Thursday and Friday - a ride that Shapiro makes in 20 minutes.

The boy, who does not wear diapers, urinated on himself twice on the way home the first day, and was dropped off wet and shivering.

Consolidated was the bus company in that case, too. Schapiro said she called dozens of times each day, but no one picked up.

"I felt like I was being tortured," she said. No child should be on a bus for this long. This is inhumane."

Parents of 52 special-needs kids attending a HeartShare Human Services preschool in Howard Beach, Queens, were livid when buses showed up two hours late for the first two days of school Wednesday and Thursday.

Buses arrived on time on Friday - but only after The News published an article about the delays on Friday.

And advocates said they've received dozens of calls from parents all over the city whose kids are enduring rides in excess of 90 minutes.

Parents such as Sara Catalinotto, who runs a group called Parents to Improve School Transportation, said the city and bus companies aren't doing enough to fix the situation.

"Every time, at the beginning of the school year, we have these problems," said Catalinotto, whose group's acronym is PIST. "They cut the routes and then they wait to see who complains."

City parents have begun to flock to a Facebook page called New York City Parents Fed up with Transportation Troubles, using it to share tips on how to overcome busing problems.

Education Department spokeswoman Margie Feinberg advised parents having trouble to call 311.

"We design bus routes to be as efficient as possible and when informed of longer rides, make adjustments to improve them for our students, drivers and the bus attendants who travel with our special education students," said Feinberg. With Michael Ip



 

 

by on Sep. 10, 2012 at 8:01 AM
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Replies (1-7):
atlmom2
by Susie on Sep. 10, 2012 at 8:27 AM
2 moms liked this
Why is 3 yo autistic boy on a bus at all?????
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
kattu
by on Sep. 10, 2012 at 8:31 AM
that's horrible.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
kimber2465
by Bronze Member on Sep. 10, 2012 at 4:45 PM

so he can get the help he needs. when a sn child turns 3 they go into school. however any trip should not be more then 30-40 minutes. 

Quoting atlmom2:

Why is 3 yo autistic boy on a bus at all?????


atlmom2
by Susie on Sep. 10, 2012 at 6:12 PM
I would never put my 3 yo on a bus like that. Just me.


Quoting kimber2465:

so he can get the help he needs. when a sn child turns 3 they go into school. however any trip should not be more then 30-40 minutes. 


Quoting atlmom2:

Why is 3 yo autistic boy on a bus at all?????



Posted on CafeMom Mobile
1likeme
by on Sep. 10, 2012 at 9:15 PM
That is terrible but what is up with the mom. She looks half dead.
BaileynMe
by on Sep. 10, 2012 at 11:25 PM
The first pic is a REALLY bad editing job; the kid's skin looks discolored too.

I would be raising hell.


Quoting 1likeme:

That is terrible but what is up with the mom. She looks half dead.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
thatgirl70
by Carin on Sep. 12, 2012 at 12:17 AM

One reason I'm glad I homeschool, and even if I didn't, I'm glad we live close enough to the neighborhood elementary school to walk or drive. My son is also special needs and I would have my foot up someone's ass if they screwed up like this.

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