Further and Further From the Bus

Backward Chaining, Twice a Day

First, John figured out how to accept the neuro-typical bus.

That took watching, planning and practice.

And now he is riding the big-kid bus to and from intermediate school each day.

Next, we are stretching that independence so he can walk to and from the bus stop.

We are backward chaining by my parking further and further from the bus.

Both in the morning and in the afternoon.

(His preferred bus stop with lots of peers is further away. 

We also have had a Hurricane Harvey interruption to work through.)

So, the plan is that he gets to approach his peers as he wishes, walking away from the car.

He quite easily walks away from me without a backward glance.

He is learning that social/emotional IQ of how to approach and blend in.

Sometimes the kids re-arrange themselves to scoot closer to him.

(And that is a joy to see.)

And he has figured out how to get off the bus at school, with whatever re-directs he gets from peers and school officials.

We did grease the skids on this process over the summer.

Now we are working on the homeward journey:  from the bus stop all the way to the house, out of sight.

So we start one block away.

He gets off the bus, and walks to the car.

The next day, two blocks away.

Both in the morning and in the afternoon.

Eventually, he will be able to make the treks without seeing me for reassurance.

And he will be gaining continual growth in navigation, independence and self-esteem.

(I suggested to him a different bus stop, closer to home.

He adamantly rejected that idea.

He knows exactly which bus stop he wants, because of the social connections he has made.)

I hope this gives you some courage to try with your kids.

Risks are worth it, with proper training and practice.

Consider backward chaining.

Peace be with us,




I am a mom of learning differences, an educator and a former corporate warrior. I help you understand what to do to help your children with learning differences prepare for today so that they can be ready for life. I share with you all that I have learned. We always use a team to have fun and learn together.

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