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Calm School Bus Transportation for Malakai

Malakai is a 17-year-old student with autism and 4Seasons has been transporting him to school since 2018.

Malakai was diagnosed with autism at just 3 years old, and he experiences sensory challenges. Bright lights, vibrations and loud sounds overload his sensory system, which cause him to act out.

The General School Transportation Experience

Before 4Seasons began providing him with school bus transportation, Malakai used to resist getting on the school bus. “School bus rides weren’t a positive experience for him,” says his mom Darlene. “He used to run away when it was time to get on the school bus.”

“There was a lack of awareness and drivers didn’t know how to deal with Malakai,” explains Darlene. “I used to be continually phoned by previous school bus companies to come pick Malakai up because the drivers didn’t know how to support him. He would act out because of other kids on the bus and all the lights and sounds. His pick-up and drop-off times would also continually change, he would always get new drivers and he was on the bus for more than two hours each way. The longer he was on the bus and the more frequent the time and driver changes, the more irritated Malakai would become.”

The Specialized School Transportation Experience

Now with 4Seasons, Malakai and his mom Darlene benefit from School Bus Drivers and Attendants who receive specialized training in disability awareness. The specialized school bus transportation experience is a much smoother process.

“It’s been consistent. There haven’t been any calls and there haven’t been any issues. Malakai’s School Bus Drivers and Attendants have been really good with him. I don’t receive phone calls anymore to come and pick Malakai up and the school bus experience has been consistent. The driver, pick up and drop off times are the same, and the school bus rides are less than an hour each way.”

4Seasons has made adjustments to the school bus for Malakai including light-blocking windows, adding noise suppression to the bus engine and creating custom seating placements to help make the ride even calmer. 4Seasons provides advanced driver training so staff provide smooth rides without big bumps or sharp turns, in addition to specialized disability awareness training.

“4Seasons staff have the knowledge of Autism and experience working with kids with disabilities, and you really need the training and experience to know how to support someone with disabilities,” says Darlene. “The Driver and Attendant talk to Malakai like a real person and are very calm.”

“Now Malakai doesn’t run away from the school bus anymore, and he’s happy to get on it.”

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