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8 Tips for Students with Specialized Needs

Riding the school bus for the first time is an exciting new adventure. Here are 8 tips for parents and guardians to help students living with disabilities have the best first school bus ride possible.

1. Visit the Bus Stop Ahead of Time

Before the first day of school, parents and guardians should walk with students to the bus stop to familiarize them with the stop location. This way, when the students get on and off the school bus, they are confident about where their stop is.

2. Create a Routine

Routines help create a sense of certainty. Share what time your students should be ready for pick up and drop off each day, and share details about the ride, including how long the school bus ride is, where your students sit in the bus, and the School Bus Driver’s name.

3. Teach Bus Stop Safety

An important part of the school bus journey is getting on and off safely. Make sure students stay in a safe place from the edge of the curb or road, check both ways for vehicles before getting on or off the bus, don’t approach the bus until it comes to a full stop and never try to retrieve anything dropped near a school bus.

4. Share School Bus Rules

Knowing how to act on the bus is an important new skill for little ones. Let students know they should always stay seated while in the school bus, that it isn’t safe to eat food or have a drink during the ride and to be kind to other students on the bus because they’re new friends!

5. Get to Know the Driver

Introducing students to the School Bus Driver before the first day of school or on the first day of school will help your little one feel comfortable with the driver. As a parent, make sure you know the School Bus Driver’s name and school bus number.

6. Discuss Worries

Being worried about the first school bus ride is completely normal. Discuss any fears students might have about the school bus experience and come up with potential solutions to help them feel comfortable and at ease.

7. Prepare Toys

Help students stay calm and entertained on the school bus ride. Pack toys like a stuffed animal, book or fidget toy so they have all the tools they need to sooth any nerves they might have during the first school bus ride.

8. Create a Contact Card

Make sure students always know who to contact in case of an emergency. Put emergency contact information in your student’s bag(s) or coat(s) so that the School Bus Driver can call a parent or guardian if they need to.

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