Saturday, June 02, 2012

Is Strapping The Boy Down Really The Answer? Apparently So.

This is my kidlet. He’s nine, he’s frickin’ adorable, he has Williams Syndrome, and he’s unruly on the bus.  He just can’t sit still.  Last year the bus had an aide and that was all that was needed, but this year transportation has gone completely insane.  The budget cuts are astronomical. It’s impossible to get an aide for him; I know because we asked.  Repeatedly.  We were trying to avoid the “Hello, Mama, the police brought me home!” thing again.

This is the answer: A weight vest.



At least, it’s what they call a weight vest, because that definitely isn’t what this is.  A weight vest is, of course, a vest that is weighted.  It can be specially made, or it can be a fishing vest with beanbags in the pockets.  The idea is that the extra weight will make the child feel secure.  And it works, because Niko has used weight vests for years and did very well with them.  This, however, is a harness.



The metal hoops on his shoulders clip to an apparatus that is securely fastened to the bus seat.  There are metal hoops on each skinny hip, as well. It zips up the back and buckles between his legs like a parachute harness.

Oh, he hated it at first! How he screamed! It was absolutely heartbreaking. As time went on, he became more used to it.  I’m trying to do the same.  It’s very nice to know that he’s secure in his seat and that he won’t be running pell mell on the bus, and it’s especially nice to know that the next knock on the door won’t be Las Vegas Metro handing over my little one.  It’s still very difficult to physically strap him down every morning. But that’s life, yes?  Take the bad and celebrate the good.  At least my son is so gosh darn charming!

*UPDATE* I wrote this post a long time ago (hence the coat. It’s a bazillion frickin’ degrees outside right now! A coat? No way!) and we’ve had time to adjust to the harness.  It no longer frightens him, and he actually seems to feel very secure wearing it. It took a few months to get to the point that we’re at now, but with consistency and adding it to his daily routine (“Go potty, wash your hands, and then we put on the harness!” we’re at a great place with it.  I’m glad we have it, especially since he’s been watching youtube videos on learning how to drive school buses.  Dodged that bullet!

5 comments:

Ashley Dunaway said...

How am I just finding your blog now?!? My Cooper has williams syndrome and I am writing about our life in a blog as well. I love this post. Should I get cooper a weighted blanket? Love your insite and humor. I would love to feature you on my blog as well.....
thoughts? xoxo Ashley www.thepickledbean.com

Mercedes said...

Hi Ashley! I'm so happy to meet you, and I can't wait to check out your blog and see how things are going for you and Cooper. Are you on the WS Support group on FB? There are about 600 of us there now. Isn't that CRAZY? When Niko was diagnosed, we felt absolutely isolated.

Niko LOVED his weight vest and a weighted blanket. I'd absolutely suggest one. There are a few women who are making their own, if you're the crafty type, or you can just buy them. When Niko goes a little crazy, he responds very well when we wrap a blanket tightly around him and hug him. It's calming. Is Cooper the same way? If so, I bet he'd love a weighted blanket. I'm so glad that you commented! Thanks! I'll drop by your bloggity blog soon! Oh, and being featured would be AWESOME, thanks! :D

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