One of the hardest decisions I had to make regarding Madeline's schooling had to do with transportation. Bona Vista is about 10 minutes away, if that. I was encouraged by other friends (and really good mamas) to try it. Their experience was that their special needs kids really seemed to like it.
I'm very glad for the peace I felt after praying (and worrying, of course, since I am human after all) about this, and a few weeks down the road, I'm so grateful we decided to try it. Madeline did not do well at all the first few times, and I think it was the noise of the bus, since the poor little girl hates loud, unfamiliar noises (and some familiar ones too). It could have been separation, but since she wheeled right into her first day of preschool and hardly glanced my way when I left, I'm not so sure that was it. She was sobbing when I got her off the bus, but after another day or two, the tears subsided and now she smiles when she sees the bus, rides the lift, and sees the few little tykes on the bus.
Her bus driver has made the experience easier as well. He's a pastor who has a very kind heart. He checks on the kids in between stops and often tells me what Madeline is doing before I get back to her car seat. Madeline has a very short bus ride, but I often find her sound asleep and she smiles broadly at me when I wake her up.
The other benefit to sending Madeline on the bus is that it is so much less a disruption to our school day. It takes about an hour to get her bathed, diapered, dressed, fed, in her wheelchair, bookbag packed, and on the bus. I would take another whole hour or more out of our day to load her with her sisters into the van, drive to school, get everybody out and into school, check in with the teachers and other beautiful children and/or mamas, load back up and come back home, and then do it all again in such a short time.
Ok, all that rambling and finally the pics! (Remember, this is before she got her new chair!)