"You couldn't just go on and have a normal childhood when you faced a life threatening situation like that. You just can't go on and be carefree," she told CNN's Don Lemon.
She said her heart goes out to Ethan: "I can't imagine him being alone in the situation that he's in. At least I was able to have other children with me and one adult that I knew and could trust."
As negotiations in Alabama continue, preparations were under way for Poland's funeral.
Services for the late school bus driver will be held Sunday at the Ozark Civic Center.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley praised Poland for protecting the children on his bus.
"He stood in that place, and when that man came to take two children, he said no. And he lost his life because of that ... he did his job, and I'm proud of him as the governor but I'm just proud of him as a human being," he said.