Autistic boy was thrown off a bus ‘because he didn’t look disabled’
A teenager with autism was thrown off a bus because he didn’t look disabled, it was claimed. Connor McEndoor, 18, showed the driver his disability pass when he boarded on Thursday to go to college.
However, his photo is four years old because he finds taking pictures stressful, so the driver refused to believe it was him.
He took the pass off him accusing him of fraud, telling Connor he wasn’t disabled. Connor, who has speech and learning difficulties as well as suffering from memory loss and confusion, was left standing at the roadside.
Arriva bus company says it’s looking into the incident ‘as a matter of urgency’ and has apologised to Connor and his family for any ‘distress and concern’ caused. Now his mum is calling for better awareness about ‘invisible’ disabilities after the incident.
Sarah Mulgrew, from Thorntree, Middlesbrough, has branded Connor’s treatment ‘disgusting’ after it caused Connor to have a ‘major meltdown’.
She’s calling for better education for drivers as ‘not all disabilities are obvious.’ Sarah said: ‘Connor has had the same picture for four years, as he doesn’t like having his picture taken or to be on show.
‘He came bursting through the door in floods of tears, hysterical, he couldn’t get the words out. ‘He said the driver’s taken my pass’. ‘We tried to calm him down and get him to breathe.’ Sarah’s husband Cashel went to the Redcar depot to retrieve the ID.
‘The attitude came across that he doesn’t really look disabled,’ said Sarah. ‘I find this a disgusting way to look at anyone let alone disabled people as not all disabilities are obvious.
‘Connor isn’t going to have that trust now, to get on a bus; it will take another couple of months. Just that slight action has put my son into a major meltdown. ‘He will blame himself for this. You try to give him some kind of independence in life, then this happens.
‘A lot of people don’t have a clue about things like autism and ADHD, even in the 21st Century. Drivers need to be brought to task on this, they need training.’
Nick Knox, Arriva area manager director said: ‘Firstly we would like to apologise for any distress and concern this has caused Connor and his family.
‘We are looking into this as a matter of urgency to fully understand what happened. ‘Following this internal investigation we will take any necessary steps identified to ensure this doesn’t happen again.’
Read the full article online: https://metro.co.uk/2018/05/20/autistic-boy-thrown-off-bus-didnt-look-disabled-7563018/
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Autistic boy was thrown off a bus ‘because he didn’t look disabled’ - 22 May 2018
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