Serious Situation On Local Bus
A mother of a program participant reported a serious situation to R&D; she had observed her son’s driver not using car seats for some of the children on board the bus. R&D alerted the transportation company to this and they have made sure that all children aboard the bus have the necessary equipment and that it’s being used. The mother kept an eye on the situation and is now pleased to report that there have not been any re-occurrences since the initial report.
Autistic Student Learns Public Transportation System and Gains Independence
An 18-year-old student, diagnosed with autism, needed to learn to use public transportation to get from his home to his local college, which was located on the other side of town from his residence. Unfortunately, his home was located in a newly developed neighborhood where public transportation was minimal. To reach the college he had to ride three separate busses, requiring that he transfer twice. In addition to his day route, he had to learn how to access a different evening route, precipitated by the fact that the most direct routing from the college stopped running at 7:00 P.M.; so on the days he had evening courses, he had to use an alternate route.
By the fourth training session, the consumer had mastered the skills needed to ride independently including the alternate route for his night classes. In total, it took five sessions to complete his training.
Upon his 30-day follow-up, confirmation was made that he still uses public transportation, and has used his learned skills to independently explore another bus route for his needs!
The caregiver’s schedules for this consumer were not in sync so they could not transport him to and from school, but what appeared to be an obstacle turned out to be an opportunity for growth. Cooperation was also key to this consumer’s success, his parents worked together as a team so the consumer could carry out the travel-training program, which allowed him to become highly motivated in his learning process.
Gary Quilling, Travel Trainer
Proactive Planning Saves The Day
On the day of Ronald Reagan’s funeral in Simi Valley, we anticipated that the roads would be closed and traffic would be greatly increased. We were concerned that our consumers might be on the buses for longer periods of time. We coordinated with the homes, programs and families to accommodate earlier pick-up times from programs and earlier drop-offs at the homes. When we called the homes to explain why we were going to be bringing their family members home early, they were very happy that we had thought of their loved ones and considered the possible delays if they kept to their original schedules. We were able to do this with the help of our great vendors and programs.
Karen Ruiz, Field Representative TCRCS
Special Needs Case Study
Earlier this year I was contacted by a Service Coordinator for the regional center in my area who had a consumer in need of specialized transportation. The young man had not been previously transported on R&D scheduled routes and in order to provide service to the consumer several challenges would have to be overcome.
Due to severe seizures, the consumer was assisted by a “VNS” (Vagus Nerve Stimulator) implanted in his chest. A VNS is a magnetic device that effectively halts seizure activity when applied to the appropriate site on the individual.
I investigated this consumer’s special transportation needs by requesting the prescribing doctor to answer pertinent questions and supply specific information for VNS use. After obtaining written information and instructions from the doctor, transportation was scheduled to begin in April. It was important for drivers to be able to utilize the magnet in the event of a seizure occurring on the bus; therefore, paperwork was placed in the bus, driver’s notes were placed on the route sheets, and a harness was ordered by the regional center.
The consumer’s day program was contacted and arrangements were made to meet with him. I spoke to the consumer and his job coach, and was shown the area of the “VNS” implant. The next day, I conducted the quarterly driver training at the transportation vendor’s facility. At first, the drivers appeared somewhat apprehensive about the procedure, but after I covered the information and fielded questions regarding the use and location of the magnet (in the consumer’s fanny-pack) all fears were dissipated.
Paperwork and instructions were supplied to all drivers present, as well as to the transportation director to be kept on file. After the training session, the drivers expressed a great level of comfort and preparedness. The young man has since been successfully transported.
Rosie Hebron, Field Representative TCRCN