Yes, You Can Get a Handicap Parking Permit If Your Kid Has Autism….
December 15, 2011
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Now Reading: Yes, You Can Get a Handicap Parking Permit If Your Kid Has Autism….
December 15, 2011
(originally written & published on December 15, 2011)
I post this pic on my Autism Daddy Facebook Page every couple of months and I’m always shocked at how many people don’t know that in many (most?) states in the US you may qualify for a handicap parking permit if your child has autism. To me this is one of the only perks of autism… (along with the front of the line pass at amusement parks)
I did a google search on “parking permits & autism” and there is no definitive website with all the info about this. So I figured let me write a blog post to be THE place to learn about all this.
Let me start by saying that how it worked for me and my son. We live in New York and my severe asd son has no sense of danger and sometimes likes to bolt / dart away which in a big crowded parking lot can be SCARY.
So in NY we printed out the application from the NY DMV website online, filled it out, and brought it to our pediatrician who filled out his part and confirmed that he has a disability… And then mailed it to the DMV
And in a few weeks… presto! great parking spots at the zoo, amusement parks, movie theaters, Costco 🙂 AS LONG AS YOU HAVE YOUR ASD KID WITH YOU…
We don’t have the special license plates. We have the visor thing you see in the picture which I think is better. It says YTH which means Youth and you can switch it to any car that your disabled kid is in. Even when my sister watches Kyle for an afternoon we give it to her…
We definitely don’t use it all the time by any means if there are other decent spots available…but if it means walking a 1/2 mile into a store, I’m taking the handicapped spot… The wife and i call that “playing the A-card…” And most newer stores now seem to have a plethora of handicap spots available.
And after having the permit for 2 years I can honestly say that I’ve almost never seen a person in a wheelchair in a handicapped spot… Most of the people I see APPEAR to be perfectly healthy elderly people who get their dr’s to say they need it….(my mom falls into this category and it drives me crazy!) Sometimes I’ll see people with breathing problems or canes or a van from a group home… but I’ve never felt like I was taking somebody else’s space. There always seems to be enough spaces around. And so far I have never gotten stares or questions from people as to why we are using the space… but if you see my son for a minute you kinda get it… 🙂
So below are links to all the handicap parking permit info & forms, state by state. I believe all states require a doctor’s signature on part of the form. Some states are a lot stricter than others. New York State seems to be one of the easiest states. It has 2 check boxes on the form that apply to some in the ASD community.
1) “Severely limited in ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological or orthopedic condition.”
2) “Has a physical or mental impairment or condition not listed above which constitutes an equal degree of disability, and which imposes unusual hardship in the use of public transportation and prevents the person from getting around without great difficulty.”
But MANY other states have stipulations that may apply to autism but you may have to fight for them…
Many states say something like…
“Is severely limited in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition”
I would fight on those grounds that because of your kid’s NEUROLOGICAL condition it severely limits his ability to walk SAFELY…
Some states on the form have a check box for…
“Cannot walk without the use of, or assistance from, another person or brace, cane, crutch, prosthetic device, wheelchair or other assistance device.”
My asd kid cannot walk without holding mom or dads hand… so that counts…
So, again look for your state below and check out the forms and see what your state says…
And please report back if you’ve had success or failure in your state and I will revise this post.
Also if you live in another country and have knowledge of this, please send me the link to the forms and any info you have on your country and I will add it to this page.
ADDED 12/5/12 — Every time I post & repost this I take some flack because people don’t get my warped sense of humor (as you can tell by many of the comments below). I write a lot of my blog with a very “tongue in cheek” style. So consider this my disclaimer…
Of course, I don’t consider this a “perk” of autism, but you gotta look on the bright side sometimes right?. Of course I don’t abuse the situation. Of course I know that there’s lots of people who are walking and use handicapped spots and have completely legitimate reasons. Of course I don’t think all kids with autism should get this or even should qualify for it. But if your kid has “elopement” issues and/or has no sense of danger, and your pediatrician can confirm this then why not get it? Ok, now on to the state’s weblinks… Good luck!
Written byFrank Campagna
I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).