7-Year-Old Boy With Autism Is Terrified of Riding the School Bus – Drivers Have an Unexpected Response
The drivers made every day a wonderful experience for the young boy.
Being a parent to a child with developmental difficulties is challenging on even the best day. On the worst day, it can feel like an impossibly steep hill to climb.
Even when children are meeting all of their developmental milestones and everything is going as well as can be expected, parenting can be isolating and scary.
That’s why it is so important to accept help from those around you who are happy to lend a hand and lighten the load. One young family’s life was made much easier by a pair of generous bus drivers who made it their mission to help.
Why a 7-Year-Old Was Afraid of Riding the Bus
Miles Ferrara is an autistic seven-year-old with limited verbal abilities. He can be as happy and full of energy as any other elementary-age kid, but some everyday tasks feel a lot bigger and scarier than they might for someone else.
One of the everyday tasks that fills Miles with anxiety is riding the school bus. The idea of riding it alone was so scary that his parents became convinced that their beloved son would never be able to ride the bus alone.
They shared their fears with the school administration and district bus drivers, who took matters into their own hands.
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When the bus drivers, Robert Wray and Ginta Spencer, found out about Miles’ limitations and fears, they came up with a plan. They called up Miles’ mother, Shannon, and shared their ideas with her. The conversation really eased Shannon’s mind.
For the first time, she had confidence that others were looking out for her son and would do their absolute best to acclimate him to the scary environment.
“Mr. Wray called me the night before and we chatted for about 20 minutes on the phone and he really gave me the confidence that he really was going to take care of my kids, specifically Miles,” Shannon said.
How 2 Bus Drivers Proved the Importance of Looking Out for Others
Robert and Ginta came up with games and chose great music for Miles to make each bus ride fun and exciting instead of daunting. Every day Miles made it to school and back on the bus without incident, he got rewarded with a lifesaver candy — he even got to choose the color! His favorite is red.
“When he gets off he comes up to me [and says] ‘Lifesaver please,’ [I say] ‘What color you want?’ ‘…red [he says]’” Robert said.
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People in the community found out about what Robert and Ginta had done for little Miles and decided to nominate them for NBC 12’s Random Act of Kindness award.
The two won the award, and got a cash prize of $150 each, along with a big bag of lifesavers — Miles’ favorite treat. It is important to always remember that the smallest acts of kindness can have the biggest impacts.
The stress of getting Miles to school was an enormous problem for the Ferrara family before they got help from Robert and Ginta. Now, they’re able to breathe easier and their quality of life has improved exponentially.