Most parents, teachers or school bus drivers familiar with autism knows full well that injuries can be a byproduct of the disability; not always just to the child.
Especially since autism occurs more frequently in boys than in girls to the tune of four to one. For this reason, the repetitive body movement associated with the disability can lead to unintentional, self-inflicted injuries. But, they can also lead to injuries by others, especially the adults who care for these children.
It has become such a concern that the topic was on the agenda this week for the National School Transportation Association safety committee. During the NSTA Mid Winter Meeting in La Jolla, Calif., Gary Catapano, the committee chair and the director of safety for First Student, said he has become aware of a growing rate of employee injuries suffered while transporting children with autism.
Drivers and monitors, then, have more of a reason to understand the characteristics of autism and any other disability that they might encounter. Just as critical is understanding proper wheelchair securement, evacuation of special needs students and car seat installation.
Do you have any stories to share on how autism or another disability has adversely affected the health and/or well-being of you or one of your employees?