“She was on the bus for almost the entire school day and no one noticed until the afternoon.”

This was an incident that happened to a 7-year-old nonverbal girl with autism at Beulaville Elementary School in Duplin County, North Carolina.

Her mom Jaysha Gray told Witn “”Whenever you get a call saying that she’s not where she supposed to be and you know she supposed to be there and you put her in a place to be there- all the crazy things going on in this world- of course your mind goes to where is my child.”

The school principal did apologize to Jaysha and is still ongoing in the investigation.

Growing up with autism, especially during my earlier days of severe autism, I was very lucky to have my parents being able to drive me from and to school. I could only imagine what would have happened if she somehow was able to get off the school bus and wandered off and went missing.

As a public speaker when I go to speak in the schools as part of professional development I often say that it takes a village to support our students which includes acceptance and understanding from all faculty. With that I recommend Autism Speaks School Community Tool Kit which helps prepare school communities to support students with autism. You can download the kit for free here.

I hope Jaysha’s daughter is doing ok now.