ADHD Parents Together
7,691 members2,361 posts

Separate Bus

My 6.5 year old son has been having a hard time on the bus. He routinely gets out of his seat, crawls under seats, pulls on people's legs, etc. He has already been given an assigned seat behind the bus driver.

The school district wants to move him to a smaller bus with more adult supervision. I am concerned that if this happens, he will be one step closer to moving to a special education classroom. Not that there is anything wrong with that; I just don't think it is the best fit for where he is at.

Any thoughts? Thanks!

4 Replies

First thing I would do is get him to doctor with solid experience dealing with ADHD and other symptoms, if you're not satisfied with interaction, psychiatrist is in order. Impulse control for young men and understanding boundaries can be difficult for a while (I was in the same boat)


I don't think that a smaller bus necessarily means a special ed classroom. I would move your son before something happens that forces you to make another decision about riding the bus. This can be viewed as a safety issue. I have to say I am surprised that the district has other options....many would simply tell you that your child cannot ride the bus at all. I would work with them on this - you may need their help with other areas in the future.

1 like

I would move to the smaller bus. They can't put your child in special ed without your permission.

1 like

I have been in the same exact boat as you. My son, in second grade, did not take to having assigned seats on the bus too well and began to crawl under the seats to get to his friends. When he was reprimanded he acted out and this action led to being written up. His principal and I met to discuss the incidence and explained that if things don’t get better, maybe a smaller bus with less stimulation is in order. I asked if we could speak with him about it first to see if we can get him to change his behavior before having to change his bus. We talked with him about the options and the consequences of not behaving appropriately on the bus. I also got him noise cancelling headphones with an iPod Shuffle to wear while he rides the bus if he feels overwhelmed.

The thing is, many ADHD children also have Sensory Processing Disorders and it’s hard for them to regulate themselves in settings like the bus, gym class, lunch, etc. where there is a lot of noise and distraction.

Try giving him some coping skills to take his mind off of all of the commotion on the bus. Reading also helped my son.

Also, as far as a Special Education room, the two are completely unrelated. ADHD kids don’t necessarily need Special Education, mine doesn’t, but that is the only space where the public school that he was in had to get him away from the commotion so he could regulate himself and take a break.

He is now in the transition to another school within our school district that has an Emotional Support Classroom for kids just like him. That way there is a teacher trained in helping him regulate his mind and body when needed and she will also help him learn his triggers and cope with unfavorable environments in the Main classroom.

By law, schools have to keep your child in the ‘least restrictive environment,’ that benefits them. That means that they will try their best to keep your son in the Main classroom while it’s appropriate for him. If he needs supplemental services, like Special Education or occupational therapy, he will be pulled out for a determined amount of time and then returned to class.

If your son does not have an IEP, I’d consider advocating for one. You might have to push, but it’s worth it to protect your son’s legacy rights to Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

If you need to talk, I’d be happy to. I’ve been through it all with the schools!


You may also like...