Special bus transportation has finally been restored for a young Country Club girl.
For the last three years, eight-year-old Sofia Falco, who is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Defecit Hyperactivity Disorder, has been attending the Hawthorne Country Dary School, an Applied Behavior Analysis school, in Hawthorne, New York.
It was not until this school year, however, that Falco, who is required to be dropped-off first by her bus service due to her medical needs, was beginning to return home later every day. Her mother, Michelle Falco, was beginning to grow worried with her daughter’s consistently late arrival.
“She (Sofia) has a series of medical issues and as a result she needs to have a registered nurse with her at all times,” Falco said. “It states that she is required to be dropped off home first before the other five students on the bus, who do not have any medical issues. She has specific times of the day where she needs to take her medication and she was beginning to miss those times every day.”
After looking into the situation, Falco learned that the bus company responsible for transporting her daughter to and from the school, had changed the drop-off route due to traffic concerns, and would bring her daughter home up to an hour later than her normal time of 3:30 p.m.
Falco tried her best to remedy the issue on her own, but said that representatives of the city Department of Education and city Department of Transportation were unresponsive. Senator Jeff Klein, however, was responsive. He made sure Falco would once again be taken home first.
Upon review of Falco’s medical requirements and a continuous fight by Falco and Klein, Sofia’s original bus route was fully restored by the first week of December. Although the issue was consistent from the beginning of the school year, Klein said he would not give up in making sure the young girl once again received her proper bus arrangement.
“I am pleased we were able to cut through the bureaucracy and help the Falco’s with this transportation issue,” Klein said. “With conditions such as Sofia’s, it was vital that her transportation be coordinated with her treatment schedule.”
According to Falco, Sofia has been arriving home at her usual time for the last few weeks and that she has been able to take her required medication on schedule. Falco said she would not give up on making sure her daughter, who was diagnosed with ASD before her second birthday, received the proper treatment that she deserves.
“Sofia has made every day of my life a miracle since she was born. She’s going to continue to grow and flourish and I will do anything for her,” she said. “I thank Senator Klein and his staff for their patience and continuous help for my daughter.”Reach Vito Signorile via e-mail at vsignorile