Anonymous

Should I let my disabled daughter start to ride public transportation on her own?

My daughter who has Cerebral Palsy is 15 and she's almost completely helpless, she can't walk at all and cannot use her hands well but she can control her motorized wheelchair on her own. Other than that she depends on me for everything such as bathing, dressing her, feeding, going to the bathroom, carrying her from place to place. She has been telling me that she wants to start riding the buses/public transportation on her own because it will make her feel more normal. She wants to start going back and forth to school and to her physical therapy on her own. I will always be here for her and here to care for her as much as she needs it but I want her to be happy and feel that she can do something on her own even though she's physically helpless. Do you think it would be safe to let her do this? Will she be ok or should I continue taking her everywhere? We live in New York.

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    if she's think she's up to then let her. and if she has friends they can definitely ride with her on the bus or train that's what you expect from a 15 year old girl. especially in a metro area like NYC it would be common sense to have a friend help you get around disabled or not. somebody that goes to the same school and can help her get to know what buses to take. This can help her build and solidify friendships and then she'll able to go out to the coffee shop, the library or to the museum .

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  • Sounds like a scary situation for you mom. You raised her and so you know how smart she is. Here's what I would do. Ride a few times with her before you let her out on her own. If you are worried about someone hurting her etc make a plan with her that if she doesn't contact you by a certain you'll come looking. (Keep in mind buses run ate sometimes)

    Most importantly, this is your child wanting you to trust her. She just wants so independence in a world were she has little to no control over things. I'd give it to her with open arms.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I'd let her do it. She needs some freedom to do stuff on her own--yes even in NY.

    If she knows the route and can maneuver herself in the chair, she'd be pretty good at riding the bus. And she'd be capable of intellectually rationalizing where she was/where she was going.

    This could help her find the location of the address of the physical therapist. She would also know directions and could ask the driver for basic route asistance, which they are required to do as part of their job driving public transist.

    Maybe she'd be eligible for para-transit? I use it where I am and it helps my mobility in certain cases. I'm delivered right to the door of my address.

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  • Jewel
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Give her a chance, at least! This is what I suggest doing to give her a chance without her being in possible danger:

    Take a bus ride, the two of you, but give her no assistance whatsoever, no matter how much you want to. Don't handle her money, her bus ticket, explain anything to her (such as which bus or how to tell the driver when she wants to get off), except if she is in serious danger. If she can do this three times without your assistance, then she should be allowed to ride on her own (as long as she follows curfew and bus rules!).

    I hope you like this idea!

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  • Feivel
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Each child is different. Ask her physical therpaists and teachers what they think. Tell her that you will ride with her a few times but not assist. Make sure she knows that you trust her but you have a hard time letter go.

    Personally, I am not sure in New York I would but that is just me. Talk to her team of caregivers, doctors etc. and they can help you make the decision.

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  • erma
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    check some disabilty orgiations they might have a mobilty transportation trainer who can help (maybe try UCP 0

    I"m a mobily transportation trainer myself but i live in los Angeles

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You need to let your daughter grow up. She is not helpless if she can control her motorized wheelchair. Make sure she has plenty of identifying information on her. If she has a cell phone - have her talk to you on the cell phone the whole way there. That does 2 things_ 1. Lets you know she is OK. 2. Lets others know she is in communication with someone.

    NYC is scary, but the transit folks are really wonderful. Go to the stop with her and speak to the driver. They've met skiddish moms before.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes let her start using public transport. Go with her once or twice till she knows the route after that make sure she has a cell phone or a way to contact you or others in case of emergency.

    It seems like your daughter wants to gain more independence. You should encourage this. It's time to stop using descriptors like helpless and find ways to help your teenage daughter gain as much independence as she can.

    Focus on developing methods and skills to help her do more on her own rather than doing everything for her.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think public transportation is out of the question. These people aren't paid to look after your daughter who is this helpless, think about it. There are other ways, we, in Michigan have private transportation. My daughter drove a bus here that catered to them with special needs, the fee was two dollars a ride.

    See if you have something like this available to you, they are trained for it. The public system is not trained to handle people with special needs.

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