#TheShortBus Flashblog: Where I Began to Learn Humility

Originally posted on Musings of an Agender Ace Autistic:

When I was in high school, I rode the short bus, and amazingly, it wasn’t a bad experience. I happened to live near two group homes where there lived several students who had Down syndrome, and the driver was a wonderful person.

I was the only person on that bus who didn’t have Down’s.The ostensible reason for me being there was that I was legally blind, hence I was assigned to a school up quite far north from where I lived at the time. I had been used to long bus rides to school ever since kindergarten because the Seattle School District concentrated us Disabled students into one or two schools per age group. This meant that all the students with Downs, all the students who used wheelchairs or other mobility devices, all the Blind students, and all the students with learning disabilities — in fact all Disabled high school students, except, oddly, for the Deaf students — went to my high school. Continue reading “#TheShortBus Flashblog: Where I Began to Learn Humility”

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#TheShortBus Flashblog: Notes from a Short Bus Veteran

Originally posted on That Crazy Crippled Chick:

From the day my mother put me on a bus to a “special needs” preschool at three years old to the day I graduated high school, I rode the short bus.  While my older sister walked down the block to the bus stop, I got door to door service, for fifteen years.  Even now, I use paratransit, a service my best friend Kathleen affectionately calls “the distant cousin of the short bus”.  If there’s such thing as a short bus expert, I’m probably your girl.

When you ride the short bus, everything becomes intensely personal.  Riding the bus every day with only three or four others, plus the driver and aide, creates a strange sort of intimacy.  Whether you particularly like the others on the bus with you or not, you become a family.  Newcomers are regarded with an uneasy distrust.  The other short bus riders can become your best friends or your worst enemies, sometimes both at once.  Some of my best memories were made on that odd little bus, with our merry band of freaks.  Conversely, so were some of my worst.

Me and my friends Kim and Angelique, short bus sisters, circa 2009.

Continue reading “#TheShortBus Flashblog: Notes from a Short Bus Veteran”

#TheShortBus Submissions

#TheShortBus is dedicated to all children who have been teased because of the small yellow bus they took to and from school. It is also dedicated to their parents and siblings, and any children who were called “shortbussed” due to a word they misspelled or a certain behavior that appeared “different” to their peers.

Many advocates have urged people to stop using the infamous R-word in their everyday language, and have successfully removed it from the DSM as an official diagnosis. But the R-attitude still persists. The words “short bus” and “special ed” continue to carry the same connotation of shaming people who are seen as “less intelligent” and therefore less human. Unfortunately, little has been done to reduce the stigma of being enrolled in special education, let alone being someone who rides the short bus. A child should never have to hide the fact that they are associated with special education in any way, not even the mode of transportation they take between home and school.

Thank you for your participation!

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