Friday, June 4, 2010
Cab drivers mistreat autistic kids
A good friend of mine in a town called Orange in Australia, posted on his facebook recently what happened to two of his autistic sons.
In Orange they have a program where taxis pick up special needs kids from school and deliver them home. That sounds like a nice program except that the drivers need some education on conditions and patience.
Not all of them have this problem, my friend has said directly that some of the drivers are "wonderful". But you can't choose your drivers.
So, what happened? Note the map in the picture with this entry. The driver picked up the two boys at point A. One of the boys had a meltdown in the back of the cab. The driver kicked them out at point B and left them there. The driver did go to the house at point C, pick up their mother and go back, but in that time, anything could have happened. Then they had to hurry back because Mom was actually awaiting a school bus with her small daughter on it.
Why did he have a meltdown? It's not a good idea to stress out autistic children. From report, cab drivers have actually yelled at and gotten rude with the kids. Granted they have to make sure everyone has their seatbelts on, but a gentle approach is better than a crude and rude one. Enough negative experiences and an autistic child (or any child) won't feel comfortable or safe in the taxi drivers hands. Enough negative experiences will cause meltdowns.
So the taxi drivers of Orange in Australia need an education in handling of ASD kids as well as a little sensitivity training. I understand my friend and parent, Vince Steele is working on that now. I may also see if I can help them from here. If you are in the area and think you can lend a hand to the situation, contact that taxi company and tell them what you think. Remember to be kind and professional. Link below.