Mother told she can't travel with autistic child on senior trip

WARDELL, MO (KFVS) - Dana Wigfall isn't surprised her son's senior trip plans have hit a snag.

B.J. Pikey has autism, and he's raised enough money to join his North Pemiscot High School classmates on a trip to Orlando and Daytona Beach, but with his needs, he can't take care of himself for eight days.

"Somebody else needed to go," Wigfall said. "He couldn't go by himself, obviously, with his diagnosis and stuff."

She says she needs to be with her son on the trip.

However, the school does not allow parents to accompany students on the senior trip.

District leaders did offer to send his special needs teacher, but that's not enough for Wigfall.

"There's just certain things that she's not going to be able to do for him. And as a mother, I'm the only one who can do these things with him," she said.

Wigfall has written a couple of letters to superintendent Terry Hamilton and the North Pemiscot School Board.

Hamilton says the school had no comment on this specific case, but did say special needs students have been on the senior trip before without an aide and had no incidents.

But Pikey's mom says B.J. has never been away from home for more than a couple of days, and eight days in Florida scares her.

"Just being that far away if something was to happen. I'm in a totally different state and I can't be there right then and there," she said.

Dana Wigfall says she doesn't know if she will send her son to Florida without her, but hopes she doesn't have to make that call.

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