3-Year-Old Student With Autism Left 'Delirious' After 5-Hour Bus Ride Without Food, Bathroom Breaks

Serena Vidal, the mother of a 3-year-old boy, is enraged after the bus ride home from his first day of school took five hours -- without stops for food or bathroom breaks, the New York Daily News reports.

“He was delirious, starving and in his full diaper,” Vidal told the paper, saying her son, who has autism, was in hysterics when he finally got home. The trip from Gramercy school in midtown Manhattan to the boy's Brooklyn home in Bergen Beach took five hours -- a ride his mother estimated should take about 40 minutes, not including stops.

The report states officials at the New York City-area bus company admitted to the problem, even saying it wasn't the first this year.

“(We) encountered a number of routing issues in the start of the school year,” Consolidated Bus Transit spokesman Peter Silverberg told the Daily News.

Sofia Shapiro, the mother of a 4-year-old boy with autism, had a similar experience with the same bus company when a three-hour bus ride forced the boy to urinate on himself twice, the Daily News reports.

This incident comes in the wake of similar problems with student transportation.

Late last month, the Simi Valley Unified School District in Simi Valley, Calif., launched an investigation after a special education student was left alone on a school bus for more than four hours.

School board president Janice DiFatta told the Associated Press the incident was "inexcusable," and the bus driver was removed from duty.

In May, a 4-year-old girl from Mansfield, Ohio, was locked inside a school bus in a garage for almost six hours.

“Her dad put her on the bus about 7:45 a.m. The bus was having mechanical problems, they told him, so they went back to the bus garage to switch buses,” Rita Adams, the girls' mother, told WJW-TV.

According to the station, the preschooler fell asleep while the students switched busses, and no one double checked that everyone had exited the bus.

School officials eventually found the 4-year-old "sweating, upset, and having to go to the bathroom" when they searched the garage. Superintendent Dan Freund said the incident was inexcusable.

"This is an oversight that cannot be tolerated. It is the responsibility of the bus driver and any adult aide on the bus to check every row to be sure all students have exited the bus," Freund said, according to the station.

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