Autistic boy denied public transport service for people with disabilities

busCALGARY, CANADA – Shauna Elliot, the mother of nine year old Jace is furious.  Jace is autistic and he takes the Access Calgary which is the city’s public transportation service for people with disabilities.

According to Calgary Transit, which operates Access Calgary, Jace pulled another child’s hair on the bus. Jace’s mother states that her son in in a five point harness while on the bus.

Ron Collins, Calgary Transit spokesman, said Jace may return to riding the bus if his mother hires an attendant to ride with him. Jace’s mother has offered to buy an extra pass to keep the seat next to Jace empty. Calgary Transit has rejected this idea.

Angela Rooke who runs a school, Calgary Quest, which teaches kids with special needs, noted that this has become a growing problem, especially for those with severe autism.

“The transportation companies are having a hard time managing their symptoms and managing to get them to school”

Everyone involved agrees that this is an issue that will not go away. With 1 in 68 children being diagnosed on the autism spectrum, more understanding and training will be needed.

The original article on the CBC News Calgary website can be read here