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My DS saw a child get hit by a bus at the bus stop this morning... Now


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This was absolutely a horrific morning in my neighborhood. First of all, it was raining and my neighbor offered to just take my son to the bus stop in her car. I said OK and my DS, who is 7, was upset that I wasn't going with him. I kindof hurried him along - he's been VERY clingy lately and I'm trying to minimize that.

 

About 5 minutes later - I heard tires screeching, a thud and blood curdling screams! I also heard my neighbor yell my sons name. I've NEVER run so fast in all of my life! Turns out she only yelled his name bc he had started to run towards the "accident" and she was yelling at him to get back in her car.

 

A 16 year old troubled boy had intentionally run in front of a school bus about 3 houses down from our stop. It was all visible from where we were. My neighbor and I had to make a quick call, along with the other parents still at our stop (one - a nurse and a couple others had gone over to help) to put our children on their bus or not. Their bus came about 3 minutes later and we made them get on it. Figured it will only be harder tomorrow and the next day if they didn't.

 

Well we werent expecting what happened next! Their bus got sandwiched between police cars and told they couldn't leave the scene! They also wouldn't let us take our kids off. They sat there looking at it for nearly 45 minutes!

 

My DS just looked like he was in a state of shock, which is typical for him. There will be ramifications later. I'm anticipating not much sleep for at least a week or two.

 

So my question is... given the anxiety and OCD with our kids, what would you do? I've already fought back all urges to go pick him up from school today. The psych already let me know she is with him (and others that were on the buses involved). She is REALLY good so I felt it was best for him to be at school today. If you had an average child - you wouldn't hesitate to hold them closer, right? Probably let them sleep with you for a couple days... But if I let him do that - he's likely to only want more and more of it, right? My son's biggest obsessive thoughts are death/dying and severe injuries :( And this is the first day I didn't go to the bus stop with him!

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Oh my. I wish I had some advice to offer. This is just horrible. My first thought was to get a psychiatrist involved, but it sounds like that's in process. Maybe she can advise how to deal with him at home.

You're a PANDAS mom, though, so that tells me you have followed your gut in the past and your gut was right. Remember that.

I am so sorry. I will keep you and your son in my thoughts.

Kara

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OH MY!!!!! The HORROR!!!!

 

Forget the PANDAS...trust your instincts...mother your child ever however you feel compelled & however you feel he needs it. Whether you (s)mother him or not, it won't make it any easier. And this is enough to make a "average" kid be not-so-average. My advice is hold him as close as you want. (Something like this would make me really cling-y to my ds.) Not letting him do it isn't going to mean he's not going to want it any less.

 

So sorry for everyone involved. Whew. Good luck in dealing with an added issue.

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I am definitely freaked out! Still shaken and this happened like 6 hours ago! Actually my neighbor and I are both leaving work and going to get them a little early. School will be over but they normally go to aftercare. We can't take it anymore!!! We're also going together instead of our usual carpool.

 

I should have mentioned - it looks like the boy will be okay. He has serious head injuries but at this point is expected to recover.

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Oh my goodness! That is really traumatic for all ages and especially your pandas child. I understand all your concerns. Try not to feel guilty. I can tell you already do. I would give him all the safety and love he needs, no matter if it puts you back some. Maybe you can let him lead in telling you and showing you what he needs. Maybe it won't be as dramatic as you might think. But he needs to feel safe now. Those are issues a 7 year old cannot understand and should not be exposed to. Sometimes I think schools tell too much of "reality" so hopefully they were very general with it. Accident or on purpose are equally hard to wrap your 7 year old mind around. I'm so sorry you are going through this.

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Oh My Goodness! That's one fear I have about school buses and my kids that ride them...an accident. I hate hearing fire trucks and police sirens soon after they leave or minutes before they are expected to get home.

 

My son would witness something happening, like me breaking my toe and then ask reassurance questions for long periods afterwards if HE had a broken bone. If he did ___, would he break a bone, etc.

 

This is a hard one for you. You need to let him know that just because that happened to that boy, it won't happen to him, but you don't want to start the circle of reassurance questions. As for telling him that the boy intentionally ran in the front of the bus...don't. Oh, my...this is a a hard one!

 

I believe you do need to talk about it with your son. Do it at a time when it's calmer in the house and well before bedtime. Perhaps if you start the conversation and not wait for him to start it, it would help nip reasuurance questions?

 

I may say start by saying something like, "I know what we saw this morning was scary, but ___ is okay. Are you okay?" Make it simple. Don't take this as the opportunity to remind him bus safety or anything. That may make him more scared.

Edited by Vickie
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Oh my... That is my biggest fear. That I will assure my son that things will be OK when he has anxiety about something - and then it is NOT OK. I don't know about your son, but I am sure my son would interpret this to mean that the accident happened because I wasn't there and if I would have just listened to him... then this would not have happened. I wouldn't suggest that

to your son, but I'd be looking for it in his comments.

 

Regarding the boy that got hit. At this point, you really don't know for sure that the boy ran in front of the bus on purpose - you heard that from other people... so I would not feel compelled to share that. I would probably say something like "the boy was hit because he walked in front of the bus."... and not give reason why this may have happened. I think, too you can talk about how wonderful it is that you live in a community where the police and ambulances are there to help people when they are in accidents and that is why this boy will be OK.

 

I agree that you should try to keep things calm and routine as possible at home - maybe some extra hugs, but I would not start sleeping with him if you can avoid it at all. Also, if you use anything to help with sleep, I'd be sure to use it tonight. You really want to avoid the anxiety-->no sleep --> up all night worrying --> overtired/ more anxiety cycle.

 

Please let us know how it goes. I wish you all the best in dealing with this tragedy.

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OMG - I'd NEVER tell him the boy did it on purpose! there was actually just a statement from the family on the news and they confirmed that :( How incredibly sad!

 

My son would witness something happening, like me breaking my toe and then ask reassurance questions for long periods afterwards if HE had a broken bone. If he did ___, would he break a bone, etc.

THAT is exactly what my DH does!

 

I picked him up a little early. Not from school, but aftercare. My neighbor and I both went. We couldn't take it. I was useless at work anyway. There are newscrews all over the neighborhood, which only made it more dramatic for the kids. My neighbors son and DH's best friend is 5 and he's just outright hysterical crying over it all. Mine is just clingy and overly quiet. But he is ticcing like a firestorm here - ones I've never seen before. And he was very huggy, but then insisted he wanted to go to his friends house to play, so I let him.

 

Meanwhile, neighbors and I are all chilling wine ;)

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Wow - that is just terrible. I'm so sorry that your son had to experience this. I know my instinct would also be to take hold and not let go!! (Although - at this point I'd probably be in jail because there's no way I would've let the cops keep my kid on the bus in view of this...but that's a side note!)

 

Thinking about my reaction also makes me think about what my husband's reaction would be too. (He tends to be the more even keeled one of the family.) He would agree we needed to talk about it, make sure our son was okay, but not go "overboard". He would suggest that "normalcy" would be best for him (that being a relative term) and try to keep his routines and schedules as consistent as possible to keep that stability. My son is very ritualistic - so in his case, that might be the best thing.

 

What I can tell you is that our thoughts and prayers will be with you!!

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So my question is... given the anxiety and OCD with our kids, what would you do? I've already fought back all urges to go pick him up from school today. The psych already let me know she is with him (and others that were on the buses involved). She is REALLY good so I felt it was best for him to be at school today. If you had an average child - you wouldn't hesitate to hold them closer, right? Probably let them sleep with you for a couple days... But if I let him do that - he's likely to only want more and more of it, right? My son's biggest obsessive thoughts are death/dying and severe injuries :( And this is the first day I didn't go to the bus stop with him!

 

 

oh tantrums -- so, so sorry to hear this!! first, i think we (pandas moms) all tend to think too far into the future - as far as what we've seen in the past and trying to avoid it in the future -- however, i think in this situation, you need to take a deep breath and only deal with what is immediately in front of you. sorry - i can't remember your child's age. . . however, I found this upsetting when reading it. so i can't even really imagine a child, with issues with injuries,etc actually witnessing it. i'm happy to hear you have the school psych and think you should lean hard on her help and advice.

'

i love the book explosive child's technique of repeating when dealing with inappropriate outbursts. however, it can also be beneficial when trying to find out info and to be a reassuring force without getting dragged into excessive reassuring . if/when he says something about it, rather than trying to reassure, etc, you can simply repeat what he's said letting him know you heard it and attempting to gauge where he's at w/o putting any thoughts he doesn't have about it. such as, he: "i was really scared i couldn't get off the bus", you "yes, i see, really scared". he "i am so mad you weren't with me and that happened. " you - "so mad!" he - "i know something bad will happen if you're not with me", you - "you know it!"(incredulous), how?", he - "becasue it did today." you - "yes, it did happened today". i find it such a helpful technique to be involved with my son without being dragged into the drama -- and there's plenty of good cause for this drama for your son.

 

one of my son's biggest troubles was school phobia and refusal. last year, we did allow some missed days, after days off etc when out of the routine, with the agreement that he was staying home today and he had to go tomorrow. this is very dangerous, but it flowed. perhaps, you could explain that after something unexpected happens, routines (sleeping with you etc) can change for three days (or whatever) and then you have to get back on track. it's kind of dicey, though.

 

i have recently found help from a book when labels don't fit with sensory issues. it explains the difference between "giving" to your child -- when you are in control, you are making decisions and you can decide to be lenient in helping your child display good behavior and "giving in" to your child -- when he is in control, you're at your wits end and he's in control b/c you don't have options. i think in this situation, you can "give" to him b/c it is quite traumatic.

 

i think you just have to go day-by-day with the help of the school psych. Good luck!

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That's horrible. So sad for that "troubled boy" and all of you and your children to witness that. Makes me wonder if troubled boy had pandas too...I think its all our biggest fear, that our sick kids won't get the treatment they need and what might they do if that is the case.

 

I think you did the right thing - keeping the routine, and thank goodness the boy is OK. I'm traumatized just thinking about it - can't imagine how you feel!

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Oh, I so feel for all of you - that was ALWAYS my fear as well - that something bad would happen right when I sent her off on her own! I got chills for you.

 

Our therapist always gave us great advice on how to build rewards instead of letting fear build rituals. So we likely would do a reward of sleeping with us tonight, announced as a surprise, based on his courage on the bus & at school - rather than because he is afraid. Then we'd immediately set standard that tomorrow is back to normal, but that as an extra reward, if he does well on Thursday & Friday nights, you'll have a family sleepover as a reward in the living room.

 

We try to temper tough love with loving rewards, it seems to work for us. If we know a rough situation is coming up, then we try to reward for that instead of having 2 tough rewards in a row. We still (out of pandas exacerbation) have a reward program for sleeping alone - and the reward is family sleepover. She loves that one night every week or two.

 

Hope tonight goes well - we are all pulling for you. You deserve a glass of wine with friends!!!

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