This second half of the school year brought about some changes in Puppy's behavior. I gathered that the influence is coming from his bus monitor. Although she seems to be a kind person, her actions have hurt Puppy instead of helping him.
Puppy has taken school bus transportation since he was 4 years old. A bus has picked him up and dropped him off for every school day. On very rare occasions I have taken him to school myself, like when the monitor calls to say they are running late, or once they got a flat. I'm a working mom, and I need to be at work on time, so I do what I have to and dropping him off at school only happens a few times a year.
But getting back to Puppy's current bus monitor. This is her second year with him and she probably thinks she has him all figured out. I assume she may feel this because he mimics her words and phrases. Her acts of counseling may have been used to calm him down while on the bus ride; but she has caused him to ignore others like his teacher and myself. By repeating catch phrases, he now locks up during his tantrums because he is focused on remembering her words and does not listen to anyone around him.
How can I be sure they are her words? She doesn't speak English. All of Puppy's words are in Spanish now when he talks to himself as a calming (stimming) act. Whenever he has a tantrum, gets upset over me telling him 'no', or similar moments, Puppy starts to quote the bus monitor. His favorite is "Que pasa?" or what's happening? It bugs the heck out of me and truly pushes my buttons whenever I hear him using her words. I always speak to him in English. He is lucky to have learned both languages, but there is a time and a place for each.
So after speaking with his teacher, I have taken the initiative to change our morning routine and I have started taking Puppy to school and dropping him off. He still has to ride on the bus in the afternoons, but I hope that less is better. We are going to give it a try. Only two days so far with our new schedule and already I see him happier in the mornings on our ride. He no longer has time to focus on his wallet while waiting, because we are moving, moving, moving all morning long as we get dressed, ready and drive to school. And the bus was always late to begin with and it was making me late for work. So both of us are enjoying our ride in the mornings now.