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Queens Mother Struggles To Find School Transportation For Autistic Son

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The school bus strike is a burden on many parents and many students, especially those who are the most vulnerable. One Queens mother is trying to find transportation to school for her son, who is autistic, but for now, the only option she can afford is to keep him home. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.

His words are not very clear, but his actions are. Michael Garay wants to go back to school after being home for three days.

He spends a lot of the time next to his book bag, but Linda Garay said she doesn't have the manpower to get him from their home in Ozone Park to his specialized school in Westchester County.

"I don't know anybody that's willing to help me because of his behavior," she said.

Michael's behavioral issues were evident several times during our interview with his mother. She said he wears a harness on the school bus to keep him from acting out. She has been working the phones to try to find alternate transportation for him, but it hasn't been easy.

Access-a-Ride is transporting some students with disabilities, but not beyond the five boroughs. The city will reimburse her 55 cents per mile if she rents a car and the entire fare if she takes a cab.

One car service wanted $120 each way. But again, that's money she would have to pay out before being reimbursed.

After doing the math, Garay said those options are too expensive, so she's planning to keep Michael home again next week.

The city said it will work with Garay and other families in her situation to try to come up with a way to get their children to school. But for now, Garay said this is the best she can do. She's just hoping the strike doesn't last too much longer.

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