Transportation: HARNESS ON VAN

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Kelly:  My son is 10 and has DS/Autism. He has sensory issues and ALWAYS wiggles his arms out of a 5 point harness, so he has been buckled in a booster seat and puts the shoulder belt behind him, so all he has is a lap belt. He has absolutely no desire to escape or get up from his seat, just refuses anything on his shoulders. We have become concerned and bought an EZ On harness for our own use and requested the school use one too. They said it has to be in the IEP so we wrote a formal letter. Now they say an OT has to assess him for safety and then decide how to address the transportation issue, and I have to sign and return their form to allow the assessment. Is it really this complicated???

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Schools are so variable, from one to another and from one situation to another, sometimes streamlining parents’ suggestions and sometimes making a federal case out of something simple. I would suggest that you try to keep your cool and go through their hoops, ON CONDITION that they expedite things. Just make sure they don’t use the hoops as simple delaying tactics. Also, remember you are not alone (for example, it took me months to get my fourth grader to get approved to use a word processor for his writing). Don’t let them wear you down!


I don’t think it is really complicated. I think everyone wants to ensure his safety. I do know that while your son may act one way with you at home, etc. –always remember the school setting or another setting may promote other behaviors or distract him in a way that may cause safety issues. I think it is the best plan to have the OT do an assessment for safety as well as to obtain input from the bus company. I have seen one too many “runners” dart off a bus became something “catches” their attention. The bottom line is the child’s safety and an assessment is a good plan.