The Route to School

With a change of school comes a change of how to get there.  Gone are the days of reaching the school gate within 15 minutes of leaving home on foot.  The route to school now involves using the London bus network.IMG_4169.JPG

IMG_4170.JPGThere are two positives about using the bus to get to school …

1) School children continue to travel for free on all buses across London.  Once they are eleven, they require a ZipCard, which they tap on the card reader as they get on the bus.  Their journey is recorded but no fare is taken.  The ZipCard also gives them half price fares on the London Underground network.IMG_4171.JPG2) The bus which drops off outside his new school begins and ends less than 500 metres from our house.


IMG_4174.JPGCurrently, I am accompanying The Boy Child to and from school, but the plan is for him to receive travel training, before making the journey to and from by himself {gulp}.  If I had a pound for every time someone has said to me, “I was going to school by myself at that age and I had to take three buses” or “Don’t you think you’re mollycoddling him?“, I’d have a large deposit towards the cost of our next holiday.IMG_E4175.JPGCoupling autism with independent travel presents a unique set of challenges and in over coming these challenges, both The Brainy One and I are happy to take the advice of the professionals.  The Boy Child will receive travel training and become an independent traveller, but he will do so under supported transition.IMG_4176_LI.jpgI suspect that the day he finally goes to school by himself, I will have a nervous breakdown …

12 thoughts on “The Route to School

  1. I can understand your anxiety about him travelling alone, I would be exactly the same. Its not mollycoddling (how rude to say that) it is knowing your boy and caring about him. Wanting him to be safe. Good luck with the planned travel training. I wish him good luck and you too!


  2. It looks like an interesting route to take. The planned travel training sounds an excellent idea & will probably take a lot of anxiety & what if, out of TBC’s concerns which will hopefully help your concerns. For TBC, another skill learned on life’s journey (which should have more training for us all, in my opinion)


  3. Nervous breakdowns are allowed, you are a mother and mothers can do this whenever and wherever they like. There are rules about mothers
    1. Mothers are always right, even when facts say they are wrong
    2. You are NOT allowed to hit mothers.
    3. Mothers are still always right.
    4. When mothers say “click, clock, I am in my iron den” They are invulnerable and untouchable

    There are also rules about children
    1. When they are taken over by the aliens they have to be sent to the quiet place until the alien departs.
    2. Children are not allowed to hit mothers.
    3. Until they are 18 they have to live by house rules

    I think travel training should be available everywhere. I think it is a wonderful idea and as for those who mutter about mollycoddling, well, they are just proving themselves to be unfeeling, ignorant idio…… people who should have training in when to shut the F**k up


  4. Gosh Ruth, I can totally relate to that apprehension. I used to worry about my son using public transport at that age too, so if you add the fact that TBC has autism into the mix along with all the usual Mum worries I would think your apprehension must be really high. It sounds as if they are well used to this stage in independency at the school with the travel training and I think I would be checking on that ‘track my phone’ app every day to see how far down the route he was!
    Ignore those people who walked 3 miles down a country lane then used 3 buses when they were young, I bet their mums worried too 😉 I am hopeful that the bus company will know that they have children from his school on board and will stop them getting off at the wrong place or remind them when they get to the right stop. In fact I think I’ve seen a photo of him with a school lanyard – what a great idea!
    I think at this stage of his independence learning you are having to be very brave indeed so keep on ‘mollycoddling’ him, that’s what we do when we love someone.


  5. You are doing a great job – it is hard enough to let a child go alone on a new adventure – but with additional needs it is even harder. Your son is extremely lucky that you are so involved and caring. He will do great and we’ll all be there, cheering him as he makes his first solo trip. Keep up the good work.


  6. Goodness. Some people can be so thoughtless! It is not mollycoddling! I was worried sick when my two started walking to school on their own and in fact Penny only did it a couple of times at age 11 and then I carried on taking her. I still worry when she is travelling as with the autism she can sometimes not see the dangers. You will know when he is ready to travel alone (and you will still worry as that is what we mums do!)


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