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You Can Get a Handicap Parking Permit If Your Kid Has Autism

You Can Get a Handicap Parking Permit If Your Kid Has Autism

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.

Good luck!


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 by

Frank 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” :-).

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193 People Replies to “You Can Get a Handicap Parking Permit If Your Kid Has Autism”

  1. JD

    I don’t think it’s selfish at all! Though it maybe depends on the kid and severity of parking lot concerns. I have an 8 year old son with autism. He often wiggles away from me and bolts across parking lots. Has been almost hit by cars several times. I personally don’t plan to get a handicapped pass, but if a handicapped placard could be life saving to a bolting autistic child (with no car danger awareness), then I think having one should be allowed.

  2. Dana Cowger

    I did not know this and yes it can be very helpful. Especially when I am having to carry my 50lb(+) grandson to the car because we are having a full blown meltdown. This Gigi isn't as young as she use to be-lol.

  3. Thank you so much, I got my permit today.

  4. Thank you so very much for the info. I am always worried that my daughter will get hurt in a busy lot. Recently, I had knee surgery and found how much safer it was taking her with me everywhere! I am recovered, but sadly she is not. I will and must pursue a pass.

  5. Anonymous

    Is the application the same for youth as adults? I cant find a "youth" application.

  6. As the mother of a young man with developmental disability, cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, oppositional defiant disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, anxiety and depression I have never and will never apply for handicapped parking placards. You know full well the purpose of those parking spaces and bending them to suit you and take unfair advantage makes you a jerk. You hard the entire disabled community when you participate in actions such as this which creates suspicion and disresepct among the disabled and nondisabled. Shame on you. As a friend once commented: "God can fix it so you can park here all the time."

  7. As the mother of a young man who has developmental disability, autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, oppositional defiant disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, depression and anxiety disorder I have not and will not apply for a disabled parking placard. You know well the intent of those parking spaces and choose to bend the definition to suit yourself. It's selfish and you're taking advantage of others. Shame on you.

  8. Ugh! I really really struggle with this. I have two kids in wheelchairs and it is simply NOT true that there are plenty of handicapped parking spots. We struggle with the parking issue constantly! This is so totally unfair. Yes I know what it is to have an autistic child who is a runner. I have one of those too. But it never once occurred to me to use the pass for that child. Teach your child "hands are for holding!" What's next, passes for ADHD?

  9. Anonymous

    I'm sorry, but handicapped parking should be for people who are physically handicapped. If your son bolts out, then maybe you could try a harness on him, so he can't leave your supervision. I hope you never have a physical disability, but if you do, I would hope that you could find a handicapped parking space that isn't used by a parent who feels that they're entitled to it.

    1. Anonymous

      I am sorry but we all have kids who feel fearless and run from us and dont want to hold our hands in parking lots etc. So are we all entitled to special parking privlidges. Also you all talk about having your child treated as normal and like other kids but when you do things like this or wear shirts on them that say "I'm austic" because you don't want to be looked at like a bad parent – how can you expect your child to be treated like any other

  10. Anonymous

    Thanks for posting this. While our nephew is able to walk, he must have his hand held at all times or he just wanders off. I never considered that we could get a handicap parking permit. We have applied. It will make our lives much easier.

    1. Anonymous

      "It will make our lives much easier.". That comment says it all. It's a convenience for you the parent, nothing more. It has nothing to do with the your child's ability to walk, only the amount of effort YOU require to keep them safe.

  11. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Heavy Duty Wheelchair

    Keep Posting:)

  12. It's a good that you have such a facility. I never knew that such a thing exists. I will definitely tell my friends who have their children suffering from any king of disability.

    Active for All

  13. Anonymous

    In NJ and have had one for years. I used to have to get it reapproved annually but after he developed epilepsy it became permanant.

  14. Anonymous

    @Supermodel – A lot of autistic kids have a tendency to bolt when they don't feel like doing something, or get distracted. They have no real sense of safety and are usually oblivious at times to their surroundings. It is DANGEROUS for them to have to navigate from a further distance, because that increases the risk they could get hurt or killed.

    My own son often would pull his hand away and run, or hide near a car. It's scary and dangerous. By having the ability to park closer, there is less time, less distraction and less opportunity for an autistic child to perpetrate a potentially dangerous action.

    Since having the permit, we've been able to focus on his safety awareness and he now understands that when he is outside of the car he has to put his hand on the 'circle' (gas tank) to keep him from running off if my hands are full. Less distraction, less opportunity – and a far less panicky mom.

    1. I'm glad you're not "panicky" but you see for those of us that actually can't walk, it's far more important to us and it has nothing to do with us panicking. If we can't park in the space, we literally can't GO to some places. But by all means, at least you're not panicking as much! Jesus…the cognitive dissonance.

    2. My other issue is that abuse is rampant and that I have said time and time again, your children are still visible no matter how much they bolt. In a wheelchair, I am much shorter than I am. Their visibility is still higher giving a driver more time to react.

    3. Thanks for replying. So what do you do in other situations when your child can bolt? Like on the sidewalk into the street?

  15. Anonymous

    Not only were we able get one, we were also able to get a sign out in front of our place that is assigned to his permit only. So no one can park in front of our front door but us, which is nice for times like trying to get food into the house. 🙂

    1. How convenient that you get your groceries in the house. SMH

  16. Anonymous

    Thank you, this has improved our lives tremendously. Not having to navigate a parking lot with my autistic son has definitely reduced my stress level.

  17. Ed

    The Indiana link has changed, the new one is:

  18. Magnificent post. Thanks for sharing

  19. This whole thing is ridiculous because some of you are getting around the loophole that says that your child can walk only with the assistance of an adult. I'm sure that you all ARE NOT ALWAYS HOLDING YOUR CHILD'S HANDS WHEN THEY ARE WALKING. So if you are not holding their hand all the time, then what do you do when your child is walking down the street at home? But not one person who has addressed me (just calling me a hater (?LOL?) or saying I don't understand autism) has told me how they get around this. But do what you have to do to get closer parking at the mall.

    1. No. Sorry you didn't answer my question. So basically you're saying until a better system is built, then spots that are designed for people who have a difficult time ambulating should just share spots that are already few in number. You didn't answer the question on what do you do in other situations. What makes parking lots inherently more dangerous than a street? I wouldn't judge you on using a lease for your kid…that's not right. However, when you park on a regular street what do you do then? Why is a parking lot more dangerous? Besides, ANY child can bolt. The issue is VISIBILITY. Children over a certain age, can definitely bolt but are STILL more visible than someone in a wheelchair. If your child can ambulate they have no business using a placard in my opinion. Thank you but NO ONE on this entire thread has been able to answer that question and I'm still waiting.

    2. Anonymous

      This is old so probably forgotten by now. I'll answer anyway. My son, a bolter, requires the use of a backpack with leash attached. Now you'll probably chastise me for treating him like a dog. I get mean, disgusted looks all the time. I'm using sed to it. But I'll take those dirty looks over a dead child any day of the week and twice on Sunday! There will be a time when he's older and this won't work. I have three qualified, experienced, wonderful teachers working with him and after almost a year, he still bolts. We have to hold his hand so tightly (because of his resistance) that his hand and wrist are red. This is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting – and I have just the one child! We can't stay home all the time so that isn't a solution. Leave the kid behind? No. Not only is it difficult to find a babysitter willing to watch an autistic child (plus very expensive and we go through a lot of different sitters), but it doesn't help the child to not go out into the world. Anyway, I've answered your question with my experience. Until there is a better solution, I think the handicap community needs to share those spaces for the safety of these children.

  20. Anonymous

    The state of Illinois link is not working anymore.
    But I got this one:

    Program Eligibility

    In order to obtain a parking placard and/or disability
    license plates, an applicant must submit a Secretary of
    State Persons with Disabilities Certification for Park ing
    Placard/License Plates form. The form must be com pleted
    by a licensed physician certifying that the applicant has
    one of the following six specific medical conditions that
    severely impairs their ability to walk.
    •Cannot walk without the assistance of another per-
    son, prosthetic device, wheel
    chair or other assistive
    •Is restricted by lung disease to such a degree that forced
    (respiratory) expiratory volume (FEV) in one second,
    when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter.
    •Uses portable oxygen.
    •Has a Class III or Class IV cardiac condition according
    to standards set by the American Heart Association.
    •Is severely limited in the ability to walk due to an
    arthritic, neurological or orthopedic condition.
    •Has permanently lost the use of or is missing a hand or arm.

    1. Anonymous

      Your link is not to the actual Illinois application form. Here is that link:

      The eligibility criteria on the actual application form are:
      Check all that apply:
      ____ Patient is restricted by a lung disease to such a degree that the person’s forced (respiratory) expiratory volume (FEV) is one
      second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter.
      ____ Patient uses a portable oxygen device.
      ____ Patient has a Class III or Class IV cardiac condition according to the standards set by the American Heart Association.
      ____ Patient cannot walk without the assistance of a wheelchair, walker, crutch, brace, and other prosthetic device or without the
      assistance of another person.
      Patient is severely limited in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, oncological or orthopedic condition.
      ____ Patient cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest because of one of the above five conditions.
      ____ Patient is missing a hand or arm or has permanently lost the use of a hand or arm.

  21. Guess what? Your opinion is important. But it isn't the law. If the law states that a person is considered handicapped and can get a parking sticker, that's all that matters. It's not a "who deserves it" contest. If the law says someone needs it, then that's just how it is.

    1. Anonymous

      The only Federal regulation that includes neurological impairments is: "Are severely limited in their ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition."

      So only neurological impairments that severely limit ones ability to walk. which does not include cognitive/mental neurological impairments.

    2. Incorrect. Federal regulations include neurological impairment.

    3. That's the thing, people use loopholes to get around the law. The law doesn't say autism, but because of loopholes in the way that it was written, some people are getting approved when they shouldn't be. Ridiculous.

    4. Anonymous

      There's actually federal regulations governing states as to what conditions warrant the eligibility criteria for handicap parking. Federal level regulations are needed to ensure common eligibility requirements across states so states can honor placards/plates from other states. The requirements are outlined in the Code Of Federal Regulations Title 23 Part 1235 – Uniform System For Parking For Persons With Disabilities.

      The federal regulations only mention disabilities affecting mobility. No mental or cognitive type disabilities are listed. All states have a reciprocity agreement to follow the federal regulations. Although there are still a small number of states that have yet to update their state laws to match the federal regulations. But most have and very few will still have cognitive/mental type disabilities as legal eligibility criteria.

  22. Anonymous

    For those of us who have people in wheelchairs, believe me when I say they are not readily available. I can't tell you the number of times we don't park in one only to watch someone stroll out and get in their car who was using a handicapped spot. Frankly my opinion as a mother of both an Autistic child and a child in a wheelchair is that if you can walk through the entire store….you can walk through the parking lot.
    I am disgusted with this post and don't tell me I don't know what I am talking about, I have both sides of the coin.
    AD said "To me this is one of the only perks of autism… (along with the front of the line pass at amusement parks) " For people in wheelchairs its not a perk, its a necessity. Have you ever pushed a wheelchair through a parking lot full of slush in cold weather or snow? If you are the person in that wheelchair you hands become frozen….its like walking on your hands.
    I'm sorry but any reasonable parent out there must hold their kids hands when in a parking lot, and lots of perfectly health children dart away from their parents. Handicap parking stickers don't take a childs nature away, parents must be there and I frankly can't see how parking closer helps. Now for those children who just lay down and need to be pushed or carried everywhere, it makes perfect sense. Just because you have to hold your childs hand and they may dart away….welcome to having children they all do that.

    1. Yes. I've said this over and over again just to be met with people who say that I just don't understand. You're right. A handicapped parking permit is not some perk. I couldn't get in my car the other day and had to wait for a guy to finish in the store so he could move his car which was parked in the wrong spot. Unbelievable.

  23. Anonymous

    Tried link for Ohio takes me to a bmv website that says page can not be found

  24. Anonymous

    I am going to try and get one for my son he is 8 and has Autism and we live in Hominy Oklahoma and the school has now put my son going to school until 1

  25. Anonymous

    I just inquired about this with our neurologist today. Although mine isn't for the eloping or bolting (although my twins do tend to do that), mine is more of an issue of my son's legs cramping so badly that he actually falls to his knees. Only on his days where he is having these issues would I use this. There is no way I would use it at a mall and then have him walking and shopping. People need to be responsible and courteous and not just get one because you can. If you do get one, just use it when absolutely necessary.

  26. Anonymous

    As someone who's physically disabled AND who has a kid with autism? This is disgusting. Utterly DISGUSTING! You don't see people in wheelchairs? There have been times I've had to cancel my child's doctors appointments because there were no accessible spots and I have a ramp and a power chair. So thank you for being the reason some disabled folks can't be out and about. I really hope the USA does like some places in Canada and makes some disabled spots wheelchair spots only.

    Selfish Dick the lot of you

    1. I totally agree. It is sad, sick, and selfish. IF you need one because your child has an issue AMBULATING then by all means get one. But for safety reasons in a parking lot? You're trying way too hard.

  27. I tried the Colorado link and it didn't this what the link is, or is it something else.

  28. Anonymous

    so pretty much instead of people being selfish and claiming their or their childs disability is worse lets except everyone for who they are and strike against the stores for not having enough handicapped parking

  29. Anonymous

    Here is a new link for Utah! Thanks tons for your great research! 😀

  30. Anonymous

    If you can't handle/control your child in a parking lot wouldn't that mean you can't handle/control them anywhere? I don't see how a parking lot is somehow more dangerous compared to anywhere else. Your home has many more dangers. And your child could just as easily wonder off or bolt out onto the street where you live. Seems to me, this is more of an excuse for the parent to gain access to a privilege they really don't need. If you really do need it, how can we be sure you can provide a proper level of safety for your child everywhere else?

    1. I've said the same thing over and over again, but no one has yet to answer this question. Good luck. They'll just call you negative when you're really trying to get an understanding as to why they need a handicapped permit.

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  32. Anonymous

    The link for Illinois didn't work, so I googled the Illinois information. Here is the link.
    Thanks Ill let you know if we are approved. Lindsey

  33. Thanks for the story. We will be applying ASAP. In our case first we live in a fairly rural area. And if it appeared there were limited space. We would just go with our current plan. Which is to not go. I think how truly fearless these kids are is sometimes lost. My daughter will not only escape. She will get in cars with strangers while they are moving. And its not so much going into the store, which is its own minefield. Its coming out with stuff in you hands and loading the car. In my case we are talking about a girl the police have returned three times early in the morning walking down our busy road in her panties. When we say "Fearless" we mean "Fearless"

  34. Im sorry, every child with autism does not need a placard! I have a wheelchair bound son and finding a handicap spot is nearly impossible nowadays, because everyone has one! It's not meant for convienance, it's for medical necessity! I know there are circumstances where it's needed, but not all autistic children need it! And yes, I have an autistic child!

    1. uh oh…they'll say you don't understand if you disagree with the consensus. Or call you a hater….SMH

  35. Anonymous

    It used to be possible to get a disabled parking permit for autism here in the UK but most county's have made it impossible, the government here are making so many cut backs for disabilities here I really fear for the future.

  36. Kim

    This one is hard for me. I, myself, am disabled but one of those "invisible" disabilities. I look healthy and able bodied. However, I have days that walking is extremely painful. I have fibromyalgia, as well as two bulged discs in my back, and sciatica as well as other medical issues. I cannot take pain killers during the day because I am a mother of 4 children, 2 of whom are diagnosed autistic and I need to be able to drive if needed. I have never had a placard for myself or for my children. My 8 year old son is a runner. With my health, I can not chase him. I can not carry him without suffering greatly. I did ask my primary doctor before I injured my back for placard and she didn't feel I would get one. I have not asked since. The thought of getting one for my son sounds great, but I fear negative reactions from people like some on here. You can not always tell by looking at someone what their disability is and what could cause severe pain for them. I still push myself to do things that I probably shouldn't do because of my health, but I try for my family. I live in NY State so maybe I would get approved, but I always think I am not the worst off. I really wish people would not be so judgemental.

  37. Can i just say if it's something you need use it. From what i have read your son is non-verbal ect, not sure if i would call it low functioning, but a lot more severe than my son who is high functioning and quite verbal (actually the trick is getting him to stop talking). While this is not something i would use, because my son is high functioning, sometimes you need it, so use it. Screw the others who like to tell you you're wrong. They are not in your situation living your life, they have no idea! Also awesome blog!

    1. Right back at you. So screw other people who don't believe the same thing you do but you would like the rest of the world to have sympathy for you? question mark? lol

  38. Getting a parking permit makes sense to me. There sure are some haters in these comments. Thanks for writing this blog. It has been really eye opening. Autism isn't understood by the public. What level does your child function at? I don't, in any way mean to offend you. In fact, my younger brother has autism and epilepsy a terrifying combo.

  39. Thank you for sharing information. It was really helpful and enjoyed reading
    Cheap Gatwick Meet and Greet

  40. Anonymous

    I can't believe this post and agree with Supermodel. Handicap permits are designed for people who have trouble WALKING. I have a child who isn't ASD (she is too social), but does have global development delay (due to a chromosome deletion) and SPD so she has the same type of behavioral of no sense of danger and running off but I would never dare dream to get a permit for her. My husband also had similar safety issues when he was a child because of his severe ADHD (MIL tells me stories of how he would run off and be waving to her from an elevator or how he almost got killed by running out of a door when the stairs hadn't been built yet and there was a 10 foot drop). Using your logic then all children with ADHD would need handicap permits as well.

    The term neurological used on the form is for neurological problems that cause difficulty walking, not just any neurological condition. When I was a child I had apraxia of speech (a neurological condition). Guess my parents should have had a handicap permit too when they went out with me.

    1. Yes…any excuse. But when you call people on their BS, then they say we just don't understand Autism. Hats off to the wonderful parents that have autistic children and that deal with the difficulties. But try looking at it from another perspective for a change. What do you think it's like for those of us who CAN'T ambulate? What about those of us that cannot get out of our cars to let our ramps down because your child "may" dart out into the street? I can hear most of you NOT caring. But we should be considerate of you…

  41. Anonymous

    You are so awesome, I was just wondering about this and where I would have start my search in my state – and here it is! Thank you!

  42. Anonymous

    In the state of mass, I have one for my son he can not walk alone for the designated distance without holding a hand, but he also has a convaid stroller which is classified as a wheelchair so they could do it based off that as well. There was no issues, got it issued easily.

  43. Anonymous

    If your autistic child does not have difficulty walking, then you should not be entitled to a handicap parking permit. If your only reason is one of safety, rather than mobility, then you simply are getting it as a convenience(perk) for yourself rather than a need for your child. Every baby, toddler, and young child needs assistance in safely navigating across a parking lot. Any one of them could have a temper tantrum or bolt off unexpectedly. A child’s safety is a parent’s responsibility even when it’s inconvenient. And convenience is not a qualifying reason to be granted a handicap permit. If it were, all parents would have one.

    1. Great point and well said!

  44. Little late jumping on this. My son recently got a "secondary" autism diagnosis (cuz clearly didn't have enough issues…lol… thx for posting more clear info on this. best, Linda

  45. Thank you for this information. I was finally able to ask my son's physician for a prescription for it. However, the link for Iowa is invalid. This is the link for the application: in which I was told to use my son's name on it. Also, this is the link that will help with any questions you may have on what a disability is, what you need, cost, etc:

  46. Oh and ONE more thing. For those looking for other options to transport their children who may run in the street but are too heavy to carry in cart, then perhaps a transport wheelchair will work best for you.

    They are super portable, super light, and foldable. You can also get them with a seatbelt feature that will keep your child inside safely. It's just an option for those that may get turned down for disabled parking spots.


  47. My son has a permit, he's only 3.5 but it does help us at our apartment. Our assigned parking is too far away for us and he has problems with the car (he hates his car seat)so I requested one from his Dr and she was glad to help. This way I am able to open my doors (I have suicide doors)all the way and take my time getting him in the car. It also allows us to park right in front of our building so that it's less stress for him.

    He is not limited in his mobility but he has problems keeping his attention (also has ADHD) so he has a bit of a routine he does before he get's in his seat. He has to touch the bushes, play in the dirt in the flower beds, touch the bark and pick up a stick then he will get in the car and allow me to buckle him up. If any part of that changes then it's a no go and we deal with a total meltdown in the parking lot.

    I have received very rude notes on my car about how being fat is not a reason to have a permit and have dealt with the looks but really I don't care. I do this for my child and that is all that matters. I do have to say we only use it at home. I have never parked in a handicap spot at a store. He seems to do ok there so it's really not needed right now.

    1. When a person has a valid permit it is not for me to say why they parked there. Obviously you didn't read what I said…which is normal. Most people respond out of emotion without even having the basic skills to understand what was said. Autism is horrible. I get it. But in what way does that entitle someone that can still ambulate a chance to park in a handicapped spot? YOu talk about me? Where is your empathy for those people in wheelchairs WHO CANNOT get out of their cars without that spot/?I get it that your kid doesn't understand traffic, but what do you do in other situations? ON your street perhaps? Why can't not ONE of you answer that question for me? What do you do in other situations where your child needs to cross into/near traffic? Why the handicapped spot? That's all I'm saying. I'm still waiting on an answer to that. Perhaps I can understand your point of view if I know…but so far…no one can tell me that.

    2. Supermodel, i have three children and only one is autistic and he is high functioning. He is the oldest and has no understanding of the traffic and how dangerous it can be, even though he has seen one of his friends hit by a car. Yet his YOUNGER brother understands the danger. The problem with autism is it stunts mental growth, my seven year old has the mind set of a four year old, the only way people can tell he is the oldest is because he is tall. the younger one is more responsible. Autistic children can also be extraordinarily strong, eg, they don't want you to hold their hand, they will not let you…

      My child is tall enough to see the traffic but still has no understanding. It is not a normal everyday parental problem. my younger ones understand, the eldest does not.

      just like you don't like to be judged in your situation, you have no right to judge unless you are in that persons shoes, you have no idea what that child has wrong with them, why they have parked there. if they have a valid permit then they have a right to park there whether you like it or not.

    3. Many children understand the danger in parking lots and still run out, away from their parents at many ages. This is not to say that autism is not worthy but children exercise bad judgment calls all the time and its something that all parents have to deal with regardless. Again, using that same argument, then all parents should be entitled to one.

      Without informing others what you do in other situations that have nothing to do with parking lots, it seems to me that it's just connivence. Your child will grow taller, regardless of autism, and therefore his visibility will increase.

      Whereas, I won't get taller. I will stay in my wheelchair. You're feeding the same stereotype that physically disabled people are just angry because of life circumstances which is wrong. I'm freely making a point when you're the one that seems angry. You tell me I'm whining but you're mad because your state won't (rightfully) give you a permit.

      Regardless of what you feel, those spaces are for people with reduced mobility and that's it. It's just shameful of all the abuse that goes on with people feeling "entitled" to using that space. That goes for those who are Just running into the store for a few minutes or people that just don't feel like walking all that way. The people that leave their disabled family member in the car so they can use the permit, which is illegal. When is enough, enough for some people?

    4. That's terrible Aubree. People are seriously ignorant when it comes to Autism. My son is very similar and also has ADHD. He loves to ride in the car, but he is very impulsive and will do things like follow the yellow lines with his cars, or run across the parking lot just to touch a particular car or truck that caught his interest. He doesn't understand the life threatening danger, especially jetting out between two parked vehicles that are taller than him, where oncoming traffic can not see him. You can scream his name, and he won't stop. He just doesn't have the awareness a typically developing child his age would have.

    5. I'm sorry that you received rude notes on your car. That's just awful. I notice that when I get out of my vehicle ( I look like I'm twenty) many people look at me like I'm going to park illegally until my child brings my wheelchair around from the back.

      I find myself looking all the time to see if anyone is parked illegally, which I find at least one each time. But I never say anything to them nor place anything on their car.

  48. Anonymous

    JDelia, we qualified under B (same wording in Alaska)
    All respect for those that disagree but I live in a very Touristy town and have the permit for my 8 year old son who is not safe. We only use the permit when there are not spaces close to the door. We have it also for the fast escape plan if he gets too overwhelmed. I've had the permit for 2 years and I can say we have only used it about 8 times.And I am very grateful we did have it.

    Autism Daddy, I also wanted to add another "perk" (tongue and cheek) National Parks offer a dicount for attmittence and camping for diabled persons. Usually about 50% off. Living in Alaska, we have about 12 Federal and State parks within a 50 mile radious. This discount has allowed us to spend more time enjoying nature and gets my son, who hates the outside, a chance to change his routine and allow him to be a little more flexable. (we switched to an RV this year and he is loving his little house)

    1. Thumbs up! The DMV here has recognized that those with cognitive disabilities are not protected under the current statute regarding handicapped placards, and I was directed to the state legislature site to get it addressed.

  49. For those of you in MO, if any of you were successful in obtaining a disabled placard for your autistic child, please reply and let me know! Right know, I have only sent and inquiry to the DMV which included the these statements: "His impairment puts him at risk of harm in dangerous places like parking lots. This danger can be greatly reduced by parking close to the store, where he is less likely to be distracted. If there is less distance to walk towards the entrance of the store, then that reduces the time he spends in the dangerous parking lot which significantly reduces his risk of being injured or killed." This was their response:

    Thank you for your e-mail inquiry to the Missouri Department of Revenue.

    Missouri Revised State Statute 301.142.4 defines Physically disabled, for disabled plate/placard purposes as:

    (4) "Physically disabled", a natural person who is blind, as defined in section 8.700, or a natural person with medical disabilities which prohibits, limits, or severely impairs one's ability to ambulate or walk, as determined by a licensed physician or other authorized health care practitioner as follows:

    (a) The person cannot ambulate or walk fifty or less feet without stopping to rest due to a severe and disabling arthritic, neurological, orthopedic condition, or other severe and disabling condition; or

    (b) The person cannot ambulate or walk without the use of, or assistance from, a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair, or other assistive device; or

    (c) Is restricted by a respiratory or other disease to such an extent that the person's forced respiratory expiratory volume for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter, or the arterial oxygen tension is less than sixty mm/hg on room air at rest; or

    (d) Uses portable oxygen; or

    (e) Has a cardiac condition to the extent that the person's functional limitations are classified in severity as class III or class IV according to standards set by the American Heart Association; or

    (f) A person's age, in and of itself, shall not be a factor in determining whether such person is physically disabled or is otherwise entitled to disabled license plates and/or disabled windshield hanging placards within the meaning of sections 301.141 to 301.143;

    Missouri Department of Revenue

    This could be an uphill battle requiring a revision of currant state statute.

  50. Thanks for the info, and what AMAZING patience you have looking up the URL for each state! This kind of dedicated spirit to the autism community gets me pumped. Looks bleak for Missouri, so far all the language pertained to the "physically handicapped." I'm not afraid to make this a legal issue and get the law changed if needed. So far, only an inquiry has been sent to the DMV. I will post updates for anyone else in MO!

    1. So why should your state government care about you? Got that permit yet? Wah. You're bitching about how hard life is for you as well. black kettles and pots.

    2. Wow, sad, you said it. You're whole attitude is sad and that is just too bad for you. It doesn't bother me one bit, I don't have to live with you. I could care less about what you have issues with or not. Since when were you a factor in anyone's life here? No one here has to justify anything to you about how, when or why they use their handicapped placard with their autistic child(ren). Quite frankly, it's none of your damn business. On one hand you bitch about being judged for parking in the handicapped spot, then on the other you judge and bitch about others using them, who in YOUR opinion are not as deserving as you. It's obvious you are still very angry about something. I'm sorry you ended up in a wheelchair and life is hard for you, but you need to get over yourself, seriously. Life is hard for ALOT of people. We all deserve a fair chance at things in life like getting safely into the friggen Wal-Mart. If you want to be a waste of space bitching, moaning and blaming other's for your outrage concerning parking lots, well that's on you. I still stand on you spewing your misplaced anger at the wrong crowd, and I don't owe you anything else. End of story. Wah.

    3. And you're talking about call the police and/or tell the manager? Please by the time the police gets there, the offenders leave…always UNAPOLOGETIC. It happens every single day. It happened today.

      I had to park further away and almost get hit while a pair of teenagers parked in a disabled spot and had the GALL to look shocked when I rolled past them..It's a matter of SAFETY and visibility.

    4. First of all, I'm not some "chick" and don't know what you're talking about. Don't refer to me as such either.

      1% use disabled permits? Did you pull that number out of the air? Of course you did. Now I just googled "people in wheelchairs hurt/killed in parking lots" and came up with thousands of results. Are children hurt in parking lots too? Of course they are. So are adults. But we STILL have less visibility.

      You're so clearly disrespectful and so clueless. You wrote a rambling three paragraphs refusing to answer any of the questions that I asked because its obvious that you don't really have a good reason for why you feel the way you do.

      You want statistics on disabled people getting hurt or even killed in parking lots? It happens all the time. GOOGLE it. I'm sure you won't because you'll just write another three rambling paragraphs using insults and attacks because that's all you have. Again, using the same argument that you continue to use, then women with children who don't have a sense of danger should be able to apply for a parking permit. Without explaining how you act in other situations, which is why I asked the questions that I did, I still don't understand WHY parking lots are more dangerous than other situations that your child must face every day.

      If you are able to hold your child's hand in a parking lot, then cars can see you backing out. If your child is eight or nine, people CAN STILL SEE YOUR CHILD RUNNING AND WALKING THROUGH A PARKING LOT. While I'm SITTING IN A WHEELCHAIR, most children 7 and UP are TALLER THAN I AM. THEREFORE THEIR VISIBILITY IS STILL HIGHER THAN MINE.

      Which MEANS…that YOU CAN'T SEE ME. My next door neighbor has a seven year old and that child stands TALLER me in my chair. SO a six year old is more visible than I am in a wheelchair. Since you have so much experience with the disabled, you SHOULD KNOW THAT ALREADY.

      I don't have issues when there are people with MOBILITY ISSUES that use the parking spaces. But I'm entitled to my opinion and obviously many people in authority agree with me because many are getting TURNED DOWN.

      NOW I do believe that there should be FAMILY spots for people with children to be safe in parking spaces BUT it should be separate from people with disabilities who have a hard time as it is finding parking. What part of that aren't YOU comprehending?

      Oh and I do speak up and talk to the right people. You know nothing about me or what I do so don't assume. I'm not taking any frustrations out on you, I'm simply asking questions, to educate myself on the subject.

      For anyone else that would like to add to this discussion, please feel free to do so. What JDella doesn't understand is that it opens up the system for abuse. For those of you that use it only when necessary, I commend you for that. We all have to be reminded that even though you feel your child deserves it, many other people with serious mobility issues use those spaces as well. That's why they were DESIGNED in the first place.

      Google "Universal Design" to see how the Americans With Disabilities Act is the reason why there are curb cuts, close parking spaces, and wider bathrooms. It wasn't designed that way for children. It was designed because a large part of the population (the physically disabled) are often and STILL shut out of society and cannot go into certain stores or places of business because we PHYSICALLY cannot go. That's what I'm trying to articulate here.

      There is a major difference and J Della, you're being intellectually dishonest if you fail to even recognize that point.
      Again. So sad.

    5. LOL You MUST be the chick Kellie was referring to earlier! So are two and three year olds usually small enough to be carried by their parents, or light enough that even if they throw themselves down the parent won't lose grip of them? Can they be put into a cart where they can safely be contained in a parking lot? I definitely explained myself well concerning this issue, and I don't feel obligated to explain to you how I care for my child in various situations. Frankly, it's none of your damn business. Sorry you feel that there's only room for you on the entitlement soap box, but that's just simply not true. No one is abusing the system. Currently I would estimate that autistic persons hold less than 1% of all handicapped parking passes. So if you can't find a van accessible parking spot, you are barking at the wrong crowd.

      You keep bringing up the fact that you being in a wheel chair in a parking lot is a threat to your life. Guess what, Autism is also a life threatening disability. Especially in dangerous situations like busy parking lots. If people can't see you in your wheel chair, how do you figure that they see a small child any better? Statistically, it is children who are most at risk in parking lots, not persons in wheel chairs. ALSO at high risk are MR/DD (including autistic) persons who are TOO big and TOO heavy to be safety contained in a cart seat(like my 6 year old). They have the tendency to use their strength and weight to break their caregiver's grip, and dart out between parked cars into traffic or behind a car backing up because they have no sense of danger in their environment. My 4 year old has a better sense of danger & her environment then my autistic 6 year old. So YES, being able to park as close to the store as possible, there by reducing their time spent in the parking lot WOULD greatly reduce the life threatening risk to these disabled persons. If you don't think so, well as my grandpa always said, opinions are like assholes and everybody has one. Apparently multiple DOCTORS, parents, state statutes, and DMV representatives disagree with you.

      You know what, I (gladly) dedicated years of my life, my own blood, sweat and tears to disabled people with MR/DD (including autism), from low to high functioning, and many who were wheel chair bound. They are ALL considered disabled. I did everything for them, including transporting them to various activities. The only problem I ever had with finding parking for one of our vans was at the movie theater where the pavement on one of the rows of handicapped parking was at an awkward grade, and didn't allow me to put the lift all the way down. I couldn't get my persons off the van, and had to re-strap them in, and drive around to the other side of the row. I complained to the manager, told him how the "van accessible" spots were anything but, and the parking lot has since been re-paved. I had no doubts about being be a voice for them, especially since many of them didn't have one or didn't have the cognitive ability to fully understand the situation. If you are frustrated with the parking arrangements at a location you frequent, then by all means SPEAK UP & contact the right person! If someone is parked in the van accessible spot, and they clearly don't have a van, then complain to the manager and give them the plate number & vehicle description and ask to have the owner paged OR call the friggin police! Don't sit behind your computer & take your frustrations out on people who don't deserve it. Seriously, I've seen no support from you on this post, only bitching. If you can't take the initiative to get the real issues concerning your parking frustrations resolved, then please feel free to roll the hell on some where else…

    6. Answer the question JDella. Should mothers with two and three year olds apply for permits too due to the same danger? I'm not saying that your children aren't in danger, but using that slippery slope argument, the same argument stands.

    7. Hey JDella, it's ABUSE of the system that is there to help people with mobility issues. Nope… now you are changing the argument. Which is it? Is it because the child will run into the street or because the child is heavier and not able to be handled?

      I'm in a WHEELCHAIR and can't carry anything over 10lbs in my hand less a child of any weight. Try living THAT life while people like you abuse the system. There is nothing to state that that child (regardless of his weight) CAN'T get hit by a car even being closer to the store.

      I have been hit by people backing out just because of this very issue.

      Now put yourself in my shoes for a day, and it would be physically tough for you. I can't even hold my kid and need help due to my disability. But again, you don't seem to care about what the disabled community goes through.

      How do you control your child in other situations? When they cross the street? Never mind being in a parking lot. How do you control them in their neighborhoods from being hit by cars and stuff? This is a valid question because I truly don't know. But I would have to bet that there is little difference between the two situations. This just can't be a problem for autistic children in parking lots…this has to be an issue all the time, correct?

      The law is to protect the physically handicapped and it should stay that way. I sympathize more with your plight than you think I do, but it doesnt' seem like you can see how physically disabled people feel. If you park in a VAN PARKING SPACE, then a person who uses a ramp CANNOT get out of their car! Imagine that! Can you?

  51. Oh wow…I really don't believe some of these comments or the blog post and I"m going to write on my own blog about it. I understand that your child has autism and functions as a two year old or whatever but using that logic, then ALL parents of two year olds should be able to park in handicapped spots just because their children can dart in traffic. They too have very little sense of danger.

    I use a wheelchair all the time and it is frustrating when the spaces are used up for reasons that have nothing to do with a persons mobility! The spaces are for people with mobility problems.

    I can sympathize with some of your plights but the argument makes NO sense at all. Soon parents of two and three year olds will be using parking permits for safety reasons while we just circle in our cars unable to use our ramps. But surely some of you can care less.

    1. Well let me help you make sense of this. An average 2 year old weighs say 35 lbs. Can you handle 35 lbs? Can that child fit in the cart seat and be safely buckled in? Most likely, YES. Now how about an autistic 6 year old who has the mentality of a 2 year old, but weighs 65 lbs. Can you physically handle 65 lbs? Can (s)he fit into the cart seat and be safely buckled in? Chances are, NO! What about when this child is 10 and 100 lbs, 16 and 150 lbs? Etc., etc. YOU with me yet? You comparing an autistic child to a typically developing child makes NO SENSE.

  52. Anonymous

    I found this very helpful. I'm applying for a pass for my sons this week. Thank you.

  53. Anonymous

    I only wish this was applicable here in Canada.. I say this because I have 4 kids under 9; 2 with Autism and I'm always alone trying to get something from the store.. do you know how hard it is to push a cart plus hold onto 4 kids?? The last time I went to the grocery store – the clerk loaded my cart and then said need any help? Then totally talked over me and said oh you have PLENTY OF HELP – have a nice day!

    REALLY?? stunned woman!

    It's not a point of NOT CONTROLLING our children either. When your oldest two children can't think for themselves… and you must hold onto 4 hands.. how do you do the normal things ever family out there must do?

    I have said often to my husband that I wonder if we can get some kind of handicap sign out front of our house? Everyone is speeding up and down the street… I'm constantly in vigil the moment my kids open their eyes to when they lay down at nite! As every other parent out there with special needs knows.. ~Judy B.~

  54. Anonymous

    This so sad !!! all because you as parents can't control your child walking in a parking lot. Others that really need the spot must be put out. I see why some feel the way they do,a lot of you(not all) double talk.

    1. You have no idea what you're talking about. Just leave troll!

  55. AD – success in Indiana!!! I printed and filled out my portion of the application, then I printed the page from the website ( that shows the requirements. I circled some critical wording and wrote a note to our pediatrician mentioning lack of safety awareness and elopement. It was signed and returned to me the next day. Mailed it in, and less than a week later I have a permanent, no expiration date parking placard. Thank you so much for spreading the word, this is going to be a blessing for us!!!

  56. Anonymous

    In Australia:
    For information, go to ACROD website located at
    NB: Part of the form does need to be completed by Doctor or Occupational Therapist.
    Forms located at

  57. Mona

    How about you put that kid on a leash? That's what I do with my dogs.
    Handicapped spaces are for people with PHYSICAL disabilities; not lazy parents.

    1. Seriously? Those things are for kids 2 & under! Even if my kid was still that age, he has sensory issues and would have a complete freakin melt down if I confined him in one. We're talking about kids who are too big to tote around or sit in a cart seat with a buckle. Get a clue asshole!

    2. Anonymous

      DCFS considers leashes a restraint for children so I can't use one (at least as a foster parent) here in Illinois. Maybe with a prescription, but I'm still not sure on that. So that would not be an option for my child at all. I'm sorry you don't understand the severity of a child running out into the street unaware of the dangers, but it's pretty physical if that kid gets run over. These children have a hard time with a lot of things just like those with "physical disabilities" and deserve the same right to safety.

    3. Anonymous

      are you kidding me? please tell me this is a joke? you're comparing asd kids to dogs?!

  58. The link for Ohio doesn't work. I would love to find out more about this in Ohio. I have a son with Severe Non verbal autism, that also has no sense of fear or danger. In some cases this would be great to get him safely and quickly in to a store.

  59. the tech

    damn right i am gonna look into this! thanks

  60. My son is high functioning, but also has ADHD and because of this is very impulsive. There have been a few close calls where he just lets go of my hand, takes off, and heads toward the door, or the van, and has almost gotten hit by a car. Although he is not severe, it is more of a safety issue because the closer we are to the door the less likely that is to happen. But what do we say in the box on the NY form?

  61. Great info, my oldest with autism is 17 and this would have been a lifesaver when she was young. I just applied for one for my younger daughter who has a mitochondrial disorder and wish we had done it soon.

  62. Gennifer

    Just so some of you know the darting is called "Elopement" Issues and most Doc's don't think about a parent needing it until they ask…but most are also more than happy to sign off on getting one when the parent requests it…(At least that is in Kansas). It is well worth it, as I have three with ASD but only one so far that I have made a point of getting the tag for…my 2 year old however is not far behind as he is 35 lbs and I don't carry well especially when trying to hold the hand of my 5 year old who has the placard.

  63. I live in MN, I have a physical disability which requires the use of a wheelchair and (my own) vehicle with a ramp. I understand people have "invisible" disabilities, as well (no one can tell by looking at me that I have chronic pain). However, I see a LOT of abuse of these spaces and placards. Sometimes I am forced to park far from the door because all the "van accessible" spaces, which I require for my ramp, are taken, often inappropriately. It's dangerous for people who use chairs to to cross parking lots because we are more difficult to see. If you must use a blue space because you cannot park close enough to be safe without it, please try not to use a "ramp accessible" space.
    In restrooms, people like the bigger stalls for the extra space or to take children in with them, and they always say "I didn't see anyone else who needed it" or "I didn't think anyone…" etc. No one gets fined for using those stalls, so it happens all the more often. Just because you don't see me, doesn't mean I won't be the next one to enter the restroom, or to drive into the lot.
    I am close to several people with children in the autism spectrum, so I do understand how parking can be a greater safety concern than for other parents and care-givers, but I hope your posts don't encourage anyone to pursue the privilege just because they can, because it would be a little easier, just like some of the "healthy elderly" do.

    1. Aww, that sucks. You can't assume that every person in a wheelchair feels that way or would feel that way though. I have had 3 kids in diapers at once (due to my autistic child resisting potty training) and you know what? In A LOT of bathrooms, the changing table is located in the handicap stall! I would always get nervous about it, but what can I do? I'm not changing them on the floor! Surprisingly I have only run into one person in a wheelchair waiting to use it, but when I came out with my kids she just smiled. She was totally cool about it.

    2. I am very sorry you have had to park further, and in dangerous conditions. But I must ask, are you having to wait an extra long amount of time for a bathroom stall, or just the one person in front of you who is using the restroom. I have 2 special needs kids, and have been yelled at by a person in a wheelchair for using a handicap bathroom, but I waited my turn to use that stall and felt I needed it just as much as the wheelchair person. I have to bring 2 kids in with me, and I felt NO compassion from this person in a wheelchair, who was very angry with me for using HER stall. I figured if she had to wait for one person she could have shown me a little sympathy. If she had 30 people in front of her I could understand her frustration, but it seemed like she felt she should not have to wait even one minute. Is this how you feel as well?

  64. Anonymous

    I want to thank you for this blog post. The streets and parking lots of HB CA are a bit safer now that we got our placard. There's the email I wrote to the Dr, in case it can help anyone else out there: I am writing to request doctor approval for a handicap placard for my 11 year old autistic son, Jack. I am looking to park with him in wider and closer spaces. Jack cannot cross a regular parking lot safely on his own – must hold someone’s hand as he is not aware of the danger of the moving cars around him. Additionally, he opens his car door regularly into other’s cars (difficulty controlling force) despite telling him every time to open the door carefully, see the car parked next to us. He also has some behaviors, such as running into the location without me if he is excited or eloping if angry. Last month he crossed a highway without even looking up, we didn’t see he had gone till he was on the other side. Thank fully he wasn’t hit. I know you don’t see Jack much (he has more appnts with OT, speech, psychiatry, etc) but you are his primary, please let me know if I would drop this form off with you, and if so if you’d like to see him

    1. Anonymous

      Wow! I'm proud of you! You are a strong and special person. This sounds very scary, thank you for posting to give others the words they are looking for to describe their needs as well. I've been there too, and felt inadequate I couldn't control my child as others judging me looked at my normal looking son whom I couldn't keep with me. I've been too embarrassed to want a handicap spot, but feel I desperately need one.

  65. Anonymous

    I also live in NY, but not in the city. I have 2 teenagers with disabilities. I have the handicapped parking permit, and although we don't use it all the time, it definetely helps!

  66. Ohio has changed their site here is the current site directly to the Disability Placard page
    and the application for Ohio
    While I have never gotten one for my son with autism I have had one for myself for other reasons. You fill out the form and include an original prescription from the doctor, signed, stating the appropriate reason and need for a disability placard.

  67. Anonymous

    It would be SO nice to be able to like some of these comments! 🙂 Like the one about this being YOUR views.. don't hate (basically)… I PERSONALLY know someone who abuses the card… Ticks me off! Glad you posted this for parents with ASD kids that need it. Mine is pretty high functioning, so we are not in need, but would def get one if we did. Thanks for the info! 🙂

  68. Anonymous

    Just know that epilepsy is also a reason so if your child has seizures then definitely get the card. There is nothing worse that carrying your child a million feet to the car after a seizure. Sometimes they are dead weight and it is almost impossible 🙁

    1. I was reading through these responses only thinking about Autism, and my son having Epilepsy didn't even cross my mind. Thanks for bringing that up.

  69. Hi AD. I just wanna say I'm seeing all the flack you're getting here, and I don't think it's right. I have a son with mid-range autism and he has no sense of danger either. Most of the people I have seen that use the Handy spot look perfectly fine to me too. So, I totally agree with you and more power to you, you are doing awesome with your site and I wish you the most luck in the future.

  70. I appreciate the post. I understand what it feels like to have other people look at you like"what are you doing parking there?" My sister has CMT so she has one,and we get looks all the time. My son is a runner. I cant control him, I think shopping is very hard on these kids, and it ain't no picnic for the adults either. I will apply for one asap.

  71. I really need to get a permit for my son. He is 4 and I have to carry him or drag him because he doesn't walk with me…he is easily distracted. Jack is a high functioning autistic. I do NOT think this is encouraging anyone to get a parking permit if they do not need it. If you had to carry your 4 year old child everywhere in your arms or try to drag him my the hand and STILL he might pull away and run in front of a car then you would know how very deserving we are of closer parking. My arms feel like breaking but I am afraid to put him down because he breaks free and has nearly gotten run over. I have also seen people(who I actually knew) use a handicap parking plate and I was positive they were not in need of it. My grandfather got one many years ago and he was in wonderful health for years after he got one. I often fussed at him because he took spots other people needed but he was hard headed. I am glad I came across this post but sorry so many negative comments. Seems like people always want to find fault. Oh well. Thanks so much.Gonna talk to Jack's doctor very soon.

  72. Anonymous

    I don't use the handicap parking for my son here in Alaska because none of the parking lots are that big so it seemed kinda of pointless.

    But when we traveled to Orlando, I got a temporary parking tag which I could use there. My son is 16 and sometimes has meltdowns that can be quite violent. I decided a closer parking spot would be part of our "exit strategy" from the parks should we need it. Happily my son did extremely well at the parks so we never had to exit early. Yahoo!

  73. Anonymous

    I believe AD was refering to not taking them from someone who needs it because they always seem readily available. I don't think he was saying that they "healthy" ones were cheating the system, I think he was writing in satire and sarcastically saying about them what people say about us.

  74. Anonymous

    My mother has MS and is one of those "healthy looking people" she has to have one of those parking spots because if she walks too far her legs give out and she will be on the ground. She also has had 2 heart attacks. My son has autism but since I stick him in a cart anyway I'm not going to do this. I'm not going to take a space from someone who needs it.

  75. Becca

    We just got approved for both sons in Mass. I'll have to get their photos taken at the registry (our DMV) to get the placards, which I'm trying to figure out right now. Their physician recommends it as a matter of safety when you have bolters.

    1. Hi Becca, do you know what your kids doctor wrote on the application? My kid's Dr refused to fill out the form saying that nothing on it applies to autism and she doesn't want to loos her licence for this…

  76. Anonymous

    Anyone get one in california?

    1. We are waiting for a decision on ours. I *ONLY* plan to use it at DD's school, where there are 5 disabled spots, at max 1 of which I've seen occupied at any given time. The alternative is parking up to several blocks away. DD started ESY 3 weeks ago and we've had several close calls at dropoff and pickup. I wouldn't feel right about using it in a normal parking lot situation but at the school, I do think it's a legitimate safety issue.

  77. Just wanted to say, this worked for me in Pennsylvania! Thank you so much for the information. I am so relieved!!! Parking lots are a nightmare with my son since he is Autistic/ADHD and has serious impulsivity issues. We have never gotten him to understand the general concept of safety much less just street safety!

  78. Anonymous

    Do you know if this applies to Quebec, Canada? I'd really like to know, thanks!

  79. Anonymous

    I am of an adult female living with autism , and i have multiple health issues, fibromyalga, sjogrens, asthma, arthritis, defective immune system , low muscle tone and due to motor /movement difficulties wil luse them if I feel out of sync enough, but because I cant always show of pain to my face no one would know either of the pain and or needs for me to use of the placard. I use it for my health reasons if need too, I ues it to help me cope a transtion into a store that really do not want to be in due to sensory overloading factors.. I do not use my placard every day.. I use it when need too and not when not need too.. I also have a strong need for walking so will walk around my neighborhood to keep the body moving due to the health conditions and so need to force of my self to do those walks so i do.. but if my body cant I use the card or if I feel I cant cope it I use the card… I use it in cold weather or rainy weather because if my body chills my immune system crashes and i get sick very easy not just little thing but pnumonia and things of this… so yes so many of us who use of them use of them and have what is of seen as a hidden disability..
    What i get upset with is that have seen kids use their parents cards or grand parents card and they do not have of a disability noted as they get out of the car jumping around goofing off with freinds runing through the parking lot and so not having any obvious reasons for the use of placrad confused of me so yes at times guilty of wondering of it to others.. I to also hate that when I to park in a H space some sitting in their cars will stare as if they are the placard police… I to so much want to bring over my documentations and dxs papers and say please dont judge what you do not know.. but i to stay of silent

  80. Jennifer

    I cant get the Illinois page to even load. So I will google it and see what happens and if I can apply for it.

  81. Anonymous

    Do you apply with your child's information on the form. I didn't see a spot for me. Do you sign for the child if they are little (my DD is 4)?

  82. Anonymous

    Anyone have luck getting one in the state of Florida?

    1. My son's neurologist refused to sign. In the end I guess it is ok because lately he has become more aware of his surroundings and doesn't wander off away from us as much. He is only 4 so maybe later on he will be able to walk in a parking lot without being held. If I see it is an issue when he gets older, I may try again. We are in Miami.

    2. Florida….yes, I just got mine. We went to doc with form. Told him about Daniel not being able to walk without me b/c he is nonverbal, but also b/c he has no fear of danger and if he see's something interesting, he bolt…I am 5'7" and had back surgery as a result of protecting him. But he is 12 yrs old 5'6", 160 lbs and pays no attention. The final straw for me was when he almost got hit a month ago. I thought it was wrong to get one until that happened. Call if you need help in Florida…my cell is 850-797-3364 Bre

  83. Anonymous

    My father had one due to his polio and his leg would often give out. My exhusband however, got one too for his weak knees, but his knees are weak due to being morbidly overweight and even uses the carts in the store for those who have trouble walking. I feel that people who are 'disabled' due to their in ability to control their diet and wieght should walk those extra few feet and walk around walmart to help shed some of those pounds. It all comes down to personal responsiblity. Alot of people need them, but there are those who abuse it which reflects on everyone else. You know the blonde that gives all blondes a bad name… 🙂

    Thanks for the information. My son also darts away from the vehicle although he has improved over the years. Sometimes I wonder though…if I had one when he was younger would he have learned what he has about staying near our vehicle and waiting for the rest of us before walking into the parking lot. I did have a harness for him when he was younger (no I didn't use it like a leash) it helped him learn to hold my hand when walking anywhere. When he had the harness of he had to hold my hand. Then he learned to take it off and it turned into "hold my hand or you wear the harness". Anyways *big hugz to all autism parents*!

    1. Anonymous

      The problem I see with your comment is that not all who are obese can control it. My husband is obese because of physical disabilities that restrict his movement and also often times cause him to hold very large amounts of water weight (30-50lbs.) I am quite tired of people assuming his weight caused his disablity and not the other way around and judging him for it.

  84. Anonymous

    According to this, Texas aint having it.
    I'm his assistive device I suppose. He has not fear of anything (except heights), and will step right out in the street infront of a car. He has gotten out on a major highway here, when I was busy with our other child who has ASD, and caused a wreck. He was dancing under an overpass in traffic at dusk. I praise God regularly that no one was severely hurt. Scares me half to death though.

  85. The link for Utah seems to be a bad link. Any chance you can find the right one? I've been looking around but can't find it. Thank you!

  86. I just want to encourage anyone that has or plans to apply for a handicap parking placard/plates please REFRAIN from parking in the spots with the stripes if you can avoid it unless you have a vehicle with a wheelchair lift/ramp or your child has to use a wheelchair, walker or any other mobility aide. Save the stripes for the vans that need that space to lower their wheelchair lifts/ramps or cars that have mobility aides to unfold like walkers and wheelchairs if at all possible. I know sometimes it is not possible because there may not be any other handicap parking, but those of us that need that space so our children can actually get out of their vehicle in their wheelchair or get set up proper in their unfolded wheelchair or walker would greatly appreciate your consideration for their access as well as your own child's. Thank you! 🙂

  87. Jennifer Shanahan

    I used to have a handicap parking permit for my autistic son and when I went to renew it a few years ago, the fabulous state of Illinois refused to renew it. I guess they do not think that a severely autistic, non-verbal 16 year old who functions at the level of a 2 year old is NOT handicapped enough to qualify. My son can not walk to and from a car or in a parking lot unescorted. After reading this, I think I am going to reapply. Seriously. Illinois is the WORST.

    1. Don't put autism…there is a box for can't walk unassisted.

  88. Mn language only applies for physically disability — however, this section may apply for MN. I am going to try and see what happens… "(9) has a disability that would be aggravated by walking 200 feet under normal environmental conditions to an extent that would be life threatening." — basically the safety issues of getting across the parking lot and in and out of the store without running in front of cars…

  89. Shannon

    I live in Canada and have been joking with my adult daughter about applying for one. My four year old son-Stu- now weighs almost sixty pounds. When he has a meltdown in the local Wal-Mart I am carrying out-or trying to carry out- my wallet, Stu and sometimes groceries-if we got that far. To make it a little funner Stu flails and yells. For a mostly non-verbal child he can yell HELP ME quite clearly! I think i will ask at our next dr appt.

    1. Oh my gosh! I totally feel your pain. My son loves to yell help me. I always have to give a disclaimer to the life guards at the Y… Of all the things for them to say.

  90. Salvador

    If I can chime in on this, as a father of a child with spastic quadraplegic cerebral palsy, epilepsy, SPD, and some other things, we use a wheelchair van to get our daughter in a wheelchair around and although like you said it seems like you never take any spots from someone, we seem to always have to find somewhere besides the handicap parking spots to park haha. By all means, this isn't to question the validity of your necessity of a handicap placard at all, but just from one dad of a special needs kiddo to another, if at all possible always go for the handicap spots without the stripes. It's an issue of accessibility on the buildings part really, they only seem to make too few of the spots with room for a lift and they are always the closest and biggest so who wouldn't take them? Honestly if they made handicapped spots with lines in the middle of the parking lot, that would be awesome haha it's just an issue of getting our child out of the vehicle. So when you get that placard, remember, if you're able to please try to take the non lined spots first.

    1. Autism IS NOT A PHYSICAL DISABILITY. Where in the world did you come up with that? A sensory processing disorder does NOT make it a physical disability so STOP IT.

    2. Sue Keller is so correct and so is Salvador. I am in a wheelchair and have a very difficult time getting to where I have to go because now the accessible spots are taken. Please remember that wheelchair users need those spots BECAUSE our visibility is LIMITED to other drivers backing out.

      I understand that Autism is a disability but not applicable for an ACCESSIBLE spot I'm sorry. Someone even mentioned heat tolerance and needing to get out of the sun. Well I have Lupus, a disease that is flared by the sun and my parking permit is NOT for that. I have mobility issues. Besides, I use an umbrella.

      A child darting in the parking lot can still get hit by a car even in the accessible spaces. I hate to say this but this could amount to abuse. If you don't see a wheelchair around when you're using is because they are circling the parking lot looking for another space or just plain gave up. You don't see a wheelchair user because they probably weren't able to use their ramp and go where they needed to go.

      There are lots of invisible and visible disabilities but not all of them require a handicapped parking permit. I saw on YouTube where a woman got one because of cognitive issues. She didn't remember where she parked her car. Come on already…All of this makes it harder for people who really CAN'T walk. People who use wheelchairs and such. When I park further away, people can't see me sitting down. I can't tell you how many times I've almost been hit by cars, even when going across the parking lot as fast as I can..

      This post is just encouraging more people to get permits that they may abuse later…letting others use it, using the permit when the kid isn't in the car, etc. It's ridiculous.

      Hate me if you must but I don't care. Its flat out wrong.

    3. Anonymous


      Autism IS a neurological (PHYSICAL) disability, and a sensory processing (PHYSICAL) disability. Your kid isn't in danger? Congrats! But don't judge for mine.

    4. Sue Keller

      My child needs assistance to walk in a parkeing lot and cross the street. He is not a runner. But the mere fact that he needs to hold my elbow or hand to be safe in the parking lot/street doesn't qualify for a handicapped parking permit. Yes, I agree that the challenges of having a kid with any disability can be very trying. But, let's not abuse this system. Because the people we're hurting is not the "government" or the police but people with physical disabilities. The Golden Rule definitely applies in this situation. (Treat others the way you would like to be treated.)

    5. Sue Keller

      Salvador, you are a better person than me. My child has autism. But I would never apply for one of these handicapped parking permits. We don't need it. He is not physically disabled. I'm very concerned that Autism Daddy is encouraging people who don't really need these permits to get them. It will just be one more thing for people to criticize kids with autism and their parents for. Seriously, folks, do not abuse this privilege. There are plenty of people who really do need handicapped parking spaces.

  91. your Ohio link doesn't work. But I'll find it and apply—- I was going to ask about it at the next ped appointment because my daughter is now 53 pounds and carrying her while getting her twin brother (also with autism, but willing to walk) not to bite strangers makes me sweat profusely—- I'm also going to get a special needs pushchair for her at this point since she's outgrown all normal strollers. If she feels at all overwhelmed, she simply lies down and refuses to get up. middle of the parking lot—- WHEREVER.

  92. Boo KY doesn't seem to have anything for a neurological dissabilities

  93. Anonymous

    Oh my gosh! Thank you for your post. I will be filling out the form here in NC and applying. We had a near accident, under someone else's care because of my son's desire to bolt and run. He doesn't understand the danger at all; I can't go anywhere without holding his hand. Now that I have a newborn, we limit outings. This will help us so much. I will update if we get it! Thanks again.

    1. Anonymous

      Hi, I know this post is from over a year ago, but I was wondering if you were able to get a handicap parking permit in NC?

  94. "Most of the people I see APPEAR to be perfectly healthy elderly people who get their dr's to say they need it…." to all of you that are offended by his remarks why don't you try to read a little closer before accusing him of calling your sick grandmom or whoever a faker, he said most and appear, not ALL…get a grip people

  95. I am in Texas and we have had one for a good while now. We first got it before an official ASD diagnosis but my four year old was extremely delayed in walking (walked when he was almost 3) and still has balance issues. I have a 3 and a 4 year old on the spectrum. It was (and still is) dangerous for us to walk far in a parking lot with one child that has balance issues and both of them don't understand the danger so I have to hold onto them both.

  96. Anonymous

    Anyone know about Michigan? My son is 19 but he still darts around and walks in the middle of the road.

  97. Anonymous

    Has anyone in Virginia had any issues??? (jamie)

    1. Jen K.

      VA is one of the easiest states,
      I think. The application specifically mentions autism: "Has been diagnosed with a mental or developmental amentia or
      delay that impairs judgment including, but not limited to, an autism
      spectrum disorder."

  98. I live in WA state and I went down to the licensing office few days after reading this and was able to get one for my son 🙂

  99. Thank you!!!! After reading this I did mine right away and had my ped fax me the complete copies and mailed it in. I got mine in less than 2 weeks. Illinois 🙂

  100. Anonymous

    We live in NY too and have a parking permit. Often don't use it but glad to have it on tough days.

  101. Anonymous

    Special parking permit appropriate for sensory issues such as heat intolerance and needing to get out of very bright sunlight as quick as possible.

  102. Anonymous

    I see some comments on here, regarding the healthy elderly, when he infact stated he stated he never seen a person in a wheelchair use the spot, and what he views…. I have to admit I live in Washington State and alot of people DO get the handicap cards to avoid walking……Case in point: I took my sever, non verbal son to walmart, Yes I used the spot as he is a RUNNER and has no fear, a teenager (I knew her) isnt disabled, was just being flat out lazy.. You guys need to take into condiceration that this is HIS view's, so please before you get uptight about what is stated take other thing's in to concideration..On the positive note, this is a greatread and I will happily post it on my websites

  103. We live in Kansas, and have one for our daughter with severe autism. Our doctor mentioned visual issues as one of the reasons, she doesn't understand to watch for traffic. She is 11 years old, and tends to run in the parking lot.

  104. Anonymous

    good info, your font colors and background color are so hard to look at, it really makes reading your blog hard to process. =

  105. Anonymous

    We have one for our daughter, she has autism, we live in the UK

    1. Anonymous

      We are in Scotland, my son is almost 6, has severe autism and we have tried twice to obtain a (blue badge) as it is called here, but each time have been told because he can walk is not entitled to one, he is a danger to himself and has no sense of danger at all, he just runs!!!

  106. Anonymous

    I never knew this and I have a girl that just turned 19 with Down Syndrome, Autistic tendencies, and ADHD. She darts out all the time too and it is really hard for me to go anywhere now that I have a 3 year old also! I will definitively try to get one now that I now this! Could have really used this years ago when she was on oxygen and monitors before she had her last heart surgery but my ped. never even mentioned it to us! Thanks so much!!

  107. Anonymous

    you are a life saver… i have needed one of these for my son since he was probably 2. he is severe and takes off on me every single chance he gets.. maybe this will help

  108. Anonymous

    I have twins with mild-moderate autism. Although they CAN walk, they have no fear. If they see something they like they run towards it. If they hear a motorcycle crank up, they dart. If they are mad at me, the dart. I cannot safely walk through a parking lot with them by myself. Parking garages are also a nightmare. Meltdowns in public with autistic twins is no fun. Parking as close as possible to the door as helps me when they need to leave a store quickly. My developmental pediatrician signed off on a handicap parking permit for us in Georgia. We only use it there is not another space closer.

  109. I am disabled myself so I don't need to pursue a placard for my son because I already qualify. When I get out of the car, a lot of times people think I am just fine but in all reality I have very weak knees and legs that give out and dislocate on me if I walk too far (Ehlers Danlos). I have always been frusterated at people that think they can decide I have no business being in the handicapped spot just because they can't "see" what is wrong.

    I think this is a WONDERFUL thing that they are allowing this for the "unseen" disability of Autism too. It truly does give a life protecting asset to us parents of these precious children who can't understand the dangers of the parking lots and other cars. If I saw someone getting out of their car in handicapped parking spot I wouldn't challenge them. Even if their taking that spot meant there wasn't one left for me. I figure as long as they have the placard or plate, they have a reason for being there and they obviously need it. 🙂

    Thanks so much for sharing this. 🙂

  110. I've adjusted my wording above so I don't sound so stupid… 🙂

  111. Anonymous

    I wonder how soon is too soon to apply for one. My son is 2, so I can still carry him (30 pounds) most of the time from car/parking lot into a store. I suppose when I can't carry him anymore, it will be time to get one. My son is a runner, through and through.

    1. Anonymous

      my son is 2 and he has already tried running from me. the doctor said before his diagnosis he would sign off on one for us, so no it is not too soon to get one.

  112. I think AD means people who obviously move around quite well for holding a handicap parking pass. In other words you "know". It just depends on how you read what he types. Those with breathing problems of course dont move very well and you can tell deserve to have the privilege.

    Calling others stupid is childish and is just a reflection of yourself. If you follow him then you should know his writing technique and style. He wasnt labeling anyone but those who may be "abusing" the use of the parking privilege and we all know there are those who do abuse things like that out there.

    AD, I understand how the darting issues can be a problem. I have 2 of them and they both still have issues comprehending not to take off. I dont go out on me own with them and always park near a sidewalk in the parking lot so I wouldnt choose to apply for the parking pass. For those who really can use it though its good that its available.


    1. I agree with you. I think it's great that AD can use humor in dealing with this pervasive disorder. As an SLP, I work with a mother who prefers to see the positives of her two children's behaviors, rather than dwelling on the many negatives (e.g., darting in parking lots, not waiting in lines, screaming in stores, etc.). I strongly believe in helping parents cope with every little aspect of their daily lives — whether it is parking in a closer spot or hiring a nanny to watch the kids (which is not always possible or affordable!).

      – Kate Shepard, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

  113. Anonymous

    Just like the above post, I'm quite offended by the remark about "healthy elderly". I was able to get a handicap placard at the advice of my severe ASD sons neurologist.
    I work as a nurse in a geriatric physicians office. No one in this doctors practice receives a placard unless they have a disability, such as a heart problem, needs oxygen, or something pretty severe.
    I have a child with mild ASD who IS a runner and has less safety awareness sometimes than my more severe child. That being said, I could not get a placard for him because, although autistic, hes verbal, and he can follow directions, it's more of a behavioral issue for him.
    Please don't judge you sound stupid!

  114. We've had a permit in MD for years. Actually it is in the name of our child with EG, since if he flares he can be so weak he can't walk, but our MD was perfectly willing otherwise to sign for our child with ACC, since there are times that due to his unpredictable behavior, he wouldn't be safe crossing a parking lot without physical parental hand-holding and/or direction. We rarely use it, but we had no trouble obtaining it.

  115. Jen

    I don't think autism is valid excuse for a parking permit in North Carolina, according to what I read.

    1. I have a son with Autism who is a 'big boy' at the age of 9. He runs towards cars moving and/or parked to look inside them or to open the doors. We take all precautions necessary to make sure he doesn't hurt himself.. but there have been times where we just could not restrain him for a long walk through the parking lot. His grandparents absolutely cannot hold onto him. I have thought about applying for a permit but have felt that I was handling the situation and could do without. Lately, we feel it's time to try for a permit. Our last issue was to see my daughter playing with her elementary school band at a college football game and they requested we park about 1/2 mile away. I cried! I begged them to please let us through and they did. We would have never gotten to see her if we had to park far. They strongly requested that we get a handicapped sticker. I would never, ever use this if it weren't absolutely necessary. Autism sucks! Living with it is so very difficult for everyone in the family. Please don't judge us… we are doing the best we can! Don't you think we try to teach them to hold hands etc? I truly feel for those who have physically disabled children and they deserve a spot always. Please try to understand where we come from too… A 100lb child who lays in the middle of the parking lot and won't get up because they refuse to walk isn't easy to tend with.

    2. Anonymous

      This is something that I am going to have to talk to my cousin about. She has a three year old little boy with severe autism and mild ODD, so he can be very combative. He is about the size of a five or six year old. He likes to drop out of nowhere, bolt, and if he is having a really bad day, fight every single person around him. So I am going to have to show this to my cousin and talk to her about it. I know people would probably give us dirty looks. But I would rather get dirty looks than have him run off in the middle of a parking lot or drop suddenly with all the cars and not have somebody see him. He has a little sister, and if his mom has to go to the store alone with them, or I have to, or their dad has to, this would be very handy. Or even just two of us, because it takes two people sometimes just to get him buckled into his seat. So this is definitely something I am going to have his mom look into and see if she would be interested in it.

    3. Sarah Dickens

      I am debating on getting one for my son in NC. He is only three now, so for the time being I can juggle him and my 5 year old pretty well, but give him a few extra pounds or a heavier than usual shopping bag and it could be a different story. My son is inclined to drop to the ground when its time to hold hands if he does not want to follow directions, he is unaware of danger, and he will bolt if he can…. I suppose this is a topic I will need to discuss at our next ped. appointment. Thanks!!

    4. Anonymous

      I realize this comment is super old, but someone might find it helpful. LOL It's a little nebulous in NC. I do have one for my autistic son. It kind of depends on the comfort level of your pediatrician. Mine was ok with using the "neurological condition that severely limits walking" or whatever it was. He is not only inclined to bolt but also to just drop to the ground. The older and bigger he gets, the bigger a safety issue this becomes.

    5. Very ignorant of you. No one needs your opinion, since you obviously don't know much about Autism

  116. OK, I have to say that your comment about never seeing anyone in a wheelchair use a handicapped spot kind of offends me. I follow you on Facebook quite religiously, since I have 3 kids on the spectrum and we are approximately the same age. However, I will tell you that to YOU, my 68 year old mother may LOOK like one of those "healthy elderly people" who just got her doctor to say she needs a handicapped placard. But to ME, I know that she's a woman with a heart condition, and that to walk 20 feet to the bathroom from the couch leaves her winded, and she rarely leaves the house to go to the store because it's so hard for her to breathe. SO, you know how angry WE get when someone labels our kid as a spoiled brat who would get better if we would just (fill in the blank)….? Well, that's how it is for me when I think about how you would judge my mother if you saw her. I'm just sayin'.

    That said, this is AWESOME information, and I think it's great that you put it out there, because for some kiddos, it's a definite need. I don't think it is for mine at this time, but I appreciate having the information. Thanks for your dedication to getting the plight of autism out there.

    1. Anonymous

      I agree with anonymous. I don't believe a child with autism needs a handicap sticker. If they are physically disabled to the point of needing to park closer, then yes but just because they dart does not mean they need one. It makes no difference if you park closer. They child can still dart and get hurt. I have a handicap sticker but rarely use it as there are others that need those spots. Those that can't walk or can't breath well enough to get to where they are going.

    2. Finally! I have been stating that over and over again. It is getting very difficult to do things that i need to do. IF I can't find a disabled spot, then I can't get out of my car. I need the spot WITH THE WHITE LINES to get in and out of my car. But then again, instead of listening to the people who really need those spots, you'll assume that we don't know anything about autism.

    3. I agree, thought my son has Autism I could prob. get one but at this time he's capable of walking. The intent for SOME Autistic children is to have them feel like other kids so I won't allow myself to get one until the time comes that I feel I need one. Than I will only use it when I NEED it not just because I can.

    4. Anonymous

      I went to a couple of stores recently and ALL of the handicapped spots were taken. I saw this poor woman that could barely walk have to walk from another space since there were no handicapped spots left for her to park in. She looked like she was in pain, too. There either needs to be more handicap spots or they need to become more restrictive over giving them out. It seems like everyone has an excuse these days. I think the point of having them is starting to be lost. It also irks me a bit when handicapped spots are placed further away from regular spots. What's the point of that?

    5. Karin

      AGREED!!!!!!!!!! My son uses a wheelchair and there are many times that I cannot find an accessible spot. Most recently, had to take him to ER for the flu. Had to park pretty far away, and there were NO curb cuts for us to use as the disabled spots were free. As a result, had to wheel him in the driving lanes in the freezing cold. And before he used a wheelchair, his muscular dystrophy only allowed him to walk short distances without having to be picked up and carried (at 80 pounds). We got soooo many dirty looks for using the placard at that point in our lives. We still get dirty looks that we even have a placard for our son (when he is not with us) even though we park in "regular" spots as he is not with us. Have had people ask, why do YOU need a handicapped tag, even though not parked in handicapped space.

    6. Anonymous

      I have a heart condition. I don't look handicapped but I can get very tired and short of breath if I walk very far. I'm not old, either. If I'm not having a "bad" day I may not park in the handicap spots and I usually don't park in the closest spot. I leave that for people that have problems far worse than mine.

      If I had a child that darted away like that in the parking lot, you can darn well bet that I would not be letting go of them, period. I am the adult and I am responsible for them. No excuses. There is always a way to work things out, even if you have a cart, other children, etc. If you ask for someone to help you with your cart at the grocery store, I'd bet that at the very least they will take the cart to your car while you keep track of your child. That way you can get your child buckled up in their car seat and then load the groceries in the car. Use your child lock on the door if they can get out of their car seat on their own. Even if I parked in a handicapped space with them they could still dart into traffic coming out of the store or they may run away from the car entirely. Perhaps the closer parking will help cut down this problem a little, but it won't entirely eliminate it, so parents, be careful.

  117. Here is the new link for Texas, the old one had moved! Your awesome! THank you!

  118. You are a lifesaver!!!

    1. Anonymous

      YES, PLEASE don't… I totally understand where you're coming from.

    2. Anonymous

      just PLEASE don't park in the spot that has the big white lines next to it, I REALLY need those to unload my son's wheelchair. Thank you