Parking permit pains

Until a few years ago, parents of Autistic children were able to apply for a disability parking permit, if they had medical documents confirming that the child would be unsafe crossing a parking lot (eg because the child was a runner, or had sensory issues that might cause fight/flight/freeze responses etc).  The criteria is very strict, and the quantity of paperwork daunting.  Disability parking permits are not easy to obtain.

Many disabilities, like Autism, can be invisible.  Some disabilities affect people in different ways on different days.  Some people who don’t use wheelchairs have valid disability parking permits- and have been subjected to torrents of verbal abuse, nasty notes, or interrogations.

Yes, there are definitely selfish people who are unconcerned about others’ need for those priority parking spaces.  But there are also many people with invisible disabilities who would like to participate in their community without constantly being asked to explain details that are nobody else’s business. If you are part of the self-appointed parking police, please check for a valid disability parking permit first.

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