Family thanks pair for helping son with autism overcome new challenges

Driver, aide help boy communicate on school bus

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - It’s pretty common to see 7-year-old Miles and his brother, Vincent, jumping on the trampoline after school.

Mom, dad and their youngest brother, Niko is usually close by. But this Chesterfield family is facing some unique challenges. Miles has autism.

Over the years, his parents, Shannon and Rich Ferrara, have made adjustments to meet his needs.

Making the decision to let him ride the school bus, wasn’t an easy one.

“I actually didn’t think it would be a successful thing,” said his mother, Shannon.

She says her son doesn’t like trying new things, or being in new environments, so the family practiced getting on the school bus by playing with toys.

That’s where Robert Wray came in.

He and his aide, Ginta Spencer, would soon put the family’s mind at ease.

“Mr. Wray called me the night before and we chatted for about 20 minutes on the phone and he really gave me the confidence that he really was going to take care of my kids, specifically Miles," said Shannon.

Wray and Spencer would become the family’s lifesavers, making the bus ride to and from school, something Miles looks forward too.

"Every day, Miles would say, ‘Where’s the bus?’ He runs down the driveway and he’s just as happy as can be,” Shannon said

Through music, games and a little candy as incentives, Miles is starting to use more of his words while he’s on the bus.

The positive learning environment on the bus is reinforcing what Miles is learning in school.

7-year-old Miles now looks forward to the bus ever day. (Source: NBC12)
7-year-old Miles now looks forward to the bus ever day. (Source: NBC12)

The family reached out to NBC12 to thank Wray and Spencer for their Acts of Kindness.

With the sun shining, balloons blowing in the wind and armed with a bag of lifesavers, the Ferrara family was ready to say thank you.

Wray was overjoyed, saying, “Interacting with them every day is a great experience, very rewarding."

Spencer was brought to tears.

“To be appreciated, to know that people and Miles parents appreciate what we do is really touching," she said.

Each day will come with something different for this family, but they’re certainly happy that Wray and Spencer are along for the ride.

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