Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: mmswm on October 12, 2012, 07:51:21 PM

Title: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: mmswm on October 12, 2012, 07:51:21 PM
Hi, I'm new here.  I looked around for a similar thread, but I couldn't find one, so if this is a duplicate, please feel free to direct me to an already existing thread.

I'm looking for a good way to deal with people who say nasty things or give me dirty looks when I park in a handicapped space when I have my 10 year old son with me.  He suffers from a rare, genetic bone disease and requires surgery from time to time.  Recently, he's had his left hip rebuilt and was issued a handicapped parking placard.  I am happy to report that recovery is going nicely.  He used a wheelchair for a time, then a walker, and now a cane.  Some days he feels better than others and goes without the cane. 

My problem is with bystanders who make rude comments to me or my son.  I've been told all manner of nasty things, and once even had somebody run over his walker when I set it aside as I was trying to get him loaded into my car (to make it worse, my oldest son also suffers from this disease and had ankle surgery a month after the youngest had hip surgery, so during that incident, I had one kid in a wheelchair and another on a walker).  Usually, I just smile and go about my business, but sometimes people get into my face and yell at me. I sometimes reply by saying that "My son's doctor feels that he needs it".

Unfortunately, my son is very sensitive.  He was also born 16 weeks early and has some neuro-sensory issues in addition to the bone disease.  He gets very upset with any kind of confrontation, and there have been times when he completely melted down because these strangers yelling at mommy have scared him.

I would love some advise on how to respond (or not respond) to better slip away from these confrontations, or avoid them all together.  Thanks!
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: ChiGirl on October 12, 2012, 07:54:00 PM
I think an icy-cold "you are upsetting my child.  Leave us alone" might do the trick...really it's the icy-cold tone you need in your arsenal.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: gmatoy on October 12, 2012, 07:58:27 PM
I love ChiGirl's response! Another thing might be to say calmly, "Not all disabilities are visible. "
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: SamiHami on October 12, 2012, 08:08:40 PM
I would also be tempted to throw in a "How DARE you!" as well.

The nerve of some people. The mind absolutely boggles.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: mmswm on October 12, 2012, 08:09:29 PM
Thank you for the replies.  I need to work on the "icy stare".  I'm not very good at it, as I tend to try to keep a smile on my face, even when I want to be very, very snarky. Maybe it's all those years of customer service I worked that keeps that false smile on my face. 
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: gramma dishes on October 12, 2012, 08:18:28 PM
Where do  you live?  I can't even begin to imagine adults tormenting a child like that.  What's wrong with those people?

Someone ran over his walker?  Deliberately?  What a horrid thing to do!  Could you get the license plate number of that car?  I'd report that.

I don't know what to tell you, but yes, whatever you say, make sure to say it in the most icy cold tones you can muster and make your face match that icy tone.  No smiling allowed!   ;D
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: MorgnsGrl on October 12, 2012, 08:20:06 PM
Ugh, I so don't understand people who would confront you like that! Not cool. I think the icy stare is good advice. I might be tempted to say, "Not all disabilities are visible -- for example, looking at you, I'd never guess that you suffer from a complete lack of empathy." (I'm not suggesting that you say it, but maybe thinking it might make the icy stare a little easier.)
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Pippen on October 12, 2012, 08:23:32 PM
Not knowing your son and how he reacts to these encounters but could you sit down with him and explain that some people are simply ignorant and make judgments based on superficial things and it is best to ignore them. He could feel he needs to protect you and reassuring him you can deal with the mean comments yourself might make him feel more at ease.

These people know nothing of your situation and there is no point engaging with them if they have the temerity to say something to you.

Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Danika on October 12, 2012, 08:55:05 PM
There was a roughly similar thread on EHell about six months ago and the OP used the reply "What an interesting assumption." It was in the directory with the title "What an interesting assumption.". That OP was an adult, not a child, but apparently, not "old enough" to have health problems, according to some passersby.

At the time I read the thread, I was recovering from pelvic surgery and it was helpful to me to read. I have had hip problems for a few years. My hip is finally healing. I'm in my mid-30s. I look young and healthy. Before and after the pelvic surgery, I used the handicapped stalls in public restrooms because I needed, and sometimes still need the aid of the hand rails. Before I read that thread, I overheard a woman in the bathroom waiting for the occupied handicapped stall (which I was using) carrying on loudly about how normal folks should use the empty smaller stalls so that people who needed the handicapped ones could use them. When she saw me walk out of the stall using my hands to steady me against the bathroom walls, she clammed up.

I was prepared to use the phrase "what an interesting assumption" or else to say something else I've read on EHell if that happened again in the future. That phrase was "bad things can happen to young people too." I was going to reword it as "Just because I'm young, doesn't mean I'm healthy."

Luckily, since then, no one has said anything to me about using the handicapped stalls. And once I got a brace for my knee (apparently, my weak knee was causing some of my hip issues) I haven't had to use those stalls.

I agree with a PP that you don't owe them to educate them. But if it would make you or your son feel empowered, you can try one of the above phrases.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: mmswm on October 12, 2012, 09:00:03 PM
Gramma Dishes: I've recently moved to Washington state, but the incident with the man running over the walker happened in Minnesota (so much for "Minnesota Nice", eh?) Two young men who watched the incident approached me to help me, as obviously I was quite upset, and they got his tag number and reported it to the management of the store. The store management pulled the security video and reported it to the police.  The driver was held responsible for the damage to the walker and issued a few citations. 

Gmatoy: My son still walks with an obvious limp, even when he goes without his cane, but that line will hopefully be appropriate soon, if his recovery continues as nicely as it has been.

Pippen: Yes, I've had those conversations with him. They've helped, but not solved the problem. I tend to not park in handicapped spots on his good days, but if the only regular parking is in the "back forty", then I go ahead and park up close, because there's no telling if he'll be able to make the walk out once we've finished our shopping. Generally, the times I've had to deal with the rudest of people have been the times that he was least capable of handling it.  Between pain, embarrassment, and his neuro-sensory issues, it's just too much sometimes.

I really like the "You're upsetting my child" comment, for times when no response simply doesn't work.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: mmswm on October 12, 2012, 09:04:23 PM
Danika, thanks for the info on the other thread.  I will keep looking for it.  I somehow missed it when I looked for similar threads earlier. I like the "bad things can happen to young people" line, since that's the nature of some of the comments I get.  People seem to thing that just because he's young, he's just being lazy or being overly dramatic.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Acadianna on October 12, 2012, 09:29:55 PM
This...

I think an icy-cold "you are upsetting my child.  Leave us alone" might do the trick...really it's the icy-cold tone you need in your arsenal.

And this...

Where do  you live?  I can't even begin to imagine adults tormenting a child like that.  What's wrong with those people?

Two perfectly on-the-mark posts.  I'm tapping my foot in agreement.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: pearls n purls on October 12, 2012, 09:30:21 PM
I'm astounded by how cruel people can be.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Bijou on October 12, 2012, 09:30:33 PM
Here it is:
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=106666.msg2548142#msg2548142
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Bijou on October 12, 2012, 09:31:55 PM
I'm astounded by how cruel people can be.
I agree.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Iris on October 12, 2012, 09:38:13 PM
I'm astounded by how cruel people can be.
I agree.

And how strange. Why do they even care? What kind of person would *shout* at a stranger over something that is just none of their business?

OP, I don't blame your son for being upset. People are yelling at his mom and as a child he may well perceive it as 'his fault'. I like ChiGirl's response and I second the "no smiling" rule. People like this make me mad  >:(
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Aquamarine on October 12, 2012, 09:42:34 PM
To answer your original question, the child is the owner of a placard when they are present in the car.  If they are not in the car or not being picked up in the car the placard is not for use.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: JenJay on October 12, 2012, 10:09:26 PM
If someone was yelling in my face while my child was crying, terrified, I think I'd forget any sense of etiquette and say "Get away from us NOW or I'm calling 911!" I'm not one who usually advocates emergency police involvement but I think this qualifies because 9 out of 10 people will get worried enough to walk away and that 10th? You'll probably need a cop.  :(
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Raintree on October 12, 2012, 11:41:53 PM
Unbelievable that people can't mind their own business. My dad has a handicapped placard as he really struggles to walk, and I drive him everywhere. On occasion, I've parked in the handicapped stall to take him to an appointment, and while he's at the appointment I've done some shopping and before I go to retrieve him I want to put my shopping bags in the parked car (because they are heavy). So there's able-bodied me, putting bags in the car and walking away. But it really is legit, as my dad still needs to get back to the car. So far nobody's said anything but I am just waiting!! Not everything is as it appears.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: poundcake on October 13, 2012, 05:11:36 AM
I'm less concerned about the jackholes making assumptions than you making sure your son knows that he's done nothing wrong, and that some people are just judgmental cretins. At his age, he's going to take everything too personally anyway. Maybe instead of addressing the yeller, you can look your son in the eye and say, "Sometimes, grown ups are ignorant and don't understand that kids can have physical challenges too. The best thing to do is ignore those people." (But just to him, not in a too-loud way as a backhanded insult to the person making a scene.)
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Redsoil on October 13, 2012, 07:26:06 AM
Cool stare, and "We are legitimately using the space - my son has had surgery."  Then ignore, turn your back on them if possible and reassure your son if needed.  If they escalate, then "I hope you never need a handicap tag, as people can be so judgemental".  Ignore some more.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Betelnut on October 13, 2012, 07:38:43 AM
I DO look at people who park in handicapped spaces, that is, I look at their car to see if has a placard or special license.  I DON'T look at the people to see if they are "handicapped" enough.  That is just weird.  Anyone who has lived long enough in this world should know that not all problems are visible. 

When I was going through chemo I contemplated getting a temporary permit (which would have been legit) but never did.  I would have been very upset if someone told me that I wasn't sick enough to use the spot.  Um, I'm as weak as heck because toxic chemicals are going through my system?
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Slartibartfast on October 13, 2012, 11:00:17 AM
And a note: you do NOT owe these people a smile, small or otherwise.  Smiling isn't helping anything, because the kind of person who does this tends to also be the kind of person who doesn't pick up on the subtle distinction between "She's smiling because my comment was welcome because I'm right!" and "She's smiling because it's habit, but she's really peeved at me."  You'll get much better mileage out of an angry glare.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: MrTango on October 13, 2012, 11:41:02 AM
Honestly, I'd call the police whenever it happened.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: JeanFromBNA on October 13, 2012, 12:35:28 PM
If someone ever gets into your personal space like that again, I would tell them to "back off immediately, or I will call the police."

I get that some states have had a problem with abuse of handicapped tags and placards, but that doesn't give anybody the right to question you at all.  I was happy to hear that the person who ran over your walker was cited.  That just baffled me.  How handicapped did that person think one needed to be?
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: mmswm on October 13, 2012, 01:14:24 PM
Thanks for all the replies!  I am definitely going to work on my icy stare and angry glare.  It really is amazing how awful people can be.  I'm just astounded at some of the behavior that's been directed towards me and my son. 

Poundcake: I've had lots of talks with my son about how none of this is his fault.  It's not an easy place to be for him.  Some days are better than others.

So, I have a ton of errands to run today and my son has to go with me.  Hopefully all will go well, but if not, I'll use the icy stare.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: SPuck on October 13, 2012, 01:20:33 PM
mmswm, I'm just wondering, how often do people berate you for using the handicap spots? Like if you take ten car trips a week how often would it happen?
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: mmswm on October 13, 2012, 01:34:41 PM
SPuck, I get dirty looks, about half of the times I use the parking spots.  As far as the outright rudeness, I'd say I have somebody say something truly nasty two or three times a month.  Not often, but often enough that it's upsetting to everybody.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: jane7166 on October 13, 2012, 02:04:40 PM
OP, I'm wondering if suggesting to the jerks that if they think something illegal is going on here, then THEY should feel free to call the police.  And then go on your merry way.  This shows you have confidence in the correct interpretation of the law.  And if they continue to hassle you, then you call the police. 

When my DD broke her ankle and couldn't put any weight on it for 8 weeks, we borrowed a wheelchair for going out and had a temporary placard.  Never got as much as a second look from anyone.  Or else I was so preoccupied with the folding and unfolding of the chair, I didn't notice. 

I do have a friend who has a daughter with severe CP and the daughter uses a wheelchair.  I once met the friend for lunch (without the kids) and she parked in a handicapped space.  I didn't say anything but I was not impressed with that move.  She wouldn't have any excuse for the jerks. 
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: mmswm on October 13, 2012, 02:13:03 PM
Jane, back when he was using the wheelchair, I had (or noticed) far fewer problems.  A few times, I caught somebody giving me a dirty look as I bounced out of my car, but then the look turned to embarrassment when I started hauling the chair out of the trunk. I think it goes back to people having it stuck in their heads that young people can't have problems, or that it's only for the driver.  If you've ever had to get somebody out of a car and into a wheelchair though, you know how important those access aisles are!

I can't even imagine parking in a handicap spot if my son wasn't with me.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: O'Dell on October 13, 2012, 02:26:03 PM
"My son's doctor feels that he needs it."

Maybe add to this..."If you disagree, I suggest you take it up with the state/police" along with that icy cold stare you'll perfect by practicing. I find that if statements like that tend to shut people up, and I think that is what you want to do with your son's sensitivities.

And if need be, inform them that you are calling the police yourself if they don't leave you alone. You don't need to go thru the store management if someone is harassing you in the parking lot. (Although many managers and store employees are quite happy to intervene in situations like that, the police carry more authority and might be quicker.)

(I really don't understand what gets into people. A kid...with a walker/cane...and his mom. I think that might be the definition of someone with no shame. :()
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: camlan on October 13, 2012, 02:42:39 PM
mmswm, my SIL gets the dirty looks all the time. Until she moves around to the back of the van, puts down the wheelchair ramp and my nephew scoots his wheelchair out.

SIL just ignores the dirty looks. On the occasions when people have spoken to her, she is blunt and truthful. "My son needs the handicapped access." Then she goes back to ignoring them.

I am aghast that someone would drive over a walker. There is simply no excuse for that kind of behavior.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: VorFemme on October 13, 2012, 02:49:21 PM
Jane, back when he was using the wheelchair, I had (or noticed) far fewer problems.  A few times, I caught somebody giving me a dirty look as I bounced out of my car, but then the look turned to embarrassment when I started hauling the chair out of the trunk. I think it goes back to people having it stuck in their heads that young people can't have problems, or that it's only for the driver.  If you've ever had to get somebody out of a car and into a wheelchair though, you know how important those access aisles are!

I can't even imagine parking in a handicap spot if my son wasn't with me.

My over-sixty-five parents got the same  >:(  look a couple of times when I was with them - until Dad hauled out either a walker or a wheelchair, while Mom was helping nephew out of his seat (badly injured at three - over the last 18 years, there have been a few jerks who didn't look at the passenger to see why the handicapped tag might be in use).  Amazing how many people shut up & walked away very quickly once the other occupants of the vehicle were helping someone into a wheelchair (or a walker).

There were a few who apparently thought the walker was for Mom (she's had knee surgery replacement since) but it depended on what we were doing if he needed the walker (on a good day or a short trip) or the wheelchair (not feeling up to the walker due to a bad day or a LONG trip).
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: jane7166 on October 13, 2012, 03:01:51 PM
I used to take my mom to doctors' appointments and she had a placard.  Never saw any dirty looks but I might be kind of oblivious. 
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: SPuck on October 13, 2012, 03:56:42 PM
"My son needs the handicapped access."

I'd use a combination of this and the "you are upsetting my child" line. Since it happens frequently enough, I'm also sorry that it is a regular thing where is society going, you might want to practice the line in the mirror with firm body language and an icy stare. If you respond to them assertively chances on they will back off. I can imagine that the people who actively comment at you are looking to cause trouble.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Dr. F. on October 13, 2012, 04:43:08 PM
Two comments, both of which are kinda-sorta on topic.

1. I did have a co-worker for many years who had a developmentally-delayed daughter when I worked at a museum. She (mom) would use the handicapped placard even when her daughter wasn't with her, much to the annoyance of other visitors. The Director finally got her to stop when it was pointed out that other disabled patrons couldn't park there when she was doing so, even without her daughter. No one begrudged her the space when her daughter was with her (except that she would usually leave the kid to be entertained by the receptionist while she was working, which was a separate issue).

2. I didn't really realize the issues faced by parents of disabled children until this particular incident. I had a student (getting a Master's) who was confined to a wheelchair. One Saturday, I went in to work and saw his mom pull up in a van and start unloading his chair. I hung out close to the front door, as I needed to chat with him. Mom kept throwing me concerned/irritated looks over her shoulder during this process. Once his chair was unloaded and he was under his own power that I yelled, "Hey, Fred*! How's it going? You coming in to work?" He yelled back, "Hey Dr. F! Good! Yeah, I have work to do." Me: "Good! I need to chat with you about work-related topic xyz."

At that point I looked over at Mom and was AMAZED at the look of sheer relief and gratitude she was throwing at me. The guy was doing a Master's and was still having issues with people talking to her instead of him. (I learned this later.)

*Not his real name.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: mmswm on October 13, 2012, 05:26:01 PM
So, I made 4 stops today and only had to practice my icy glare once!  As we were getting out of the car, a middle age woman made a snide remark to her companion so I just shot her my best icy glare and went on my way.  I taught middle school for a few years, so I tried to channel my "teacher look" instead of falling back on my customer service "smile-no-matter-what".  Thank you all for your advise.  I was much more comfortable with the idea that it was okay to be a bit cold to complete strangers.  I think that's been part of my issue, in that I don't want to come across as mean or rude to anybody, even when they're being mean to me and/or my child. 
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Danika on October 13, 2012, 09:41:24 PM
So, I made 4 stops today and only had to practice my icy glare once!  As we were getting out of the car, a middle age woman made a snide remark to her companion so I just shot her my best icy glare and went on my way.  I taught middle school for a few years, so I tried to channel my "teacher look" instead of falling back on my customer service "smile-no-matter-what".  Thank you all for your advise.  I was much more comfortable with the idea that it was okay to be a bit cold to complete strangers.  I think that's been part of my issue, in that I don't want to come across as mean or rude to anybody, even when they're being mean to me and/or my child.

I know this isn't in the Hugs section of the board, but I send you hugs anyway. It's just frustrating and sad that you have to practice icy glares before you can go run errands because you know you're going to run into jerky people who can't mind their own business.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Really? on October 13, 2012, 11:54:45 PM
HI

Sounds like your having a better day.

I had a handicapped pass before (best day of my life when I got to shred it) and used to get the "Look" from people all the time. Keep up the "icy stare" and "channel your teacher look".

Me me me
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Raintree on October 14, 2012, 12:52:32 AM
I am amazed to read that this happens often enough to require practice at icy glares seemingly every time the OP goes out (and others too).

I would have thought this might be an isolated incident here and there. I have never encountered this as the driver of someone with a disabled placard, so now I'm just waiting!!
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: mmswm on October 14, 2012, 12:56:38 AM
Raintree, the truly horrifying incidents are here and there, but the dirty looks are pretty constant, and the mumbled snarky comments are fairly often.  I can totally understand people checking to see if I'm displaying a placard.  Those spots do get abused, but it's not the general public's job to determine who does or doesn't get one.  That's between the person and his or her doctor.

I read through the other thread that a PP linked to and while I'm sad to see that many others have had this experience, I'm relieved that I'm not alone.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: cicero on October 14, 2012, 03:14:22 AM
I am astonished that people are so mean!

I wouldn't say anything more than you are saying already - together with an icy glare. I would think that by now people would know that handicapped comes in all shapes and forms - not every disability is visible.

I also want to send a huge hug to your son - and add something (I hope i am not stepping on toes here):  while it isn't *his* responsibility to teach grown ups how to behave, he may want to learn coping mechanisms for himself so that he can hold his own. I know that this is difficult for him, but (as a former *very* sensitive child myself) it is possible to learn to be more assertive. when i was younger (albeit, i didn't have to deal with a disability) i used to cry or sulk or get very insulted when hurt. I learned more effective ways to communicate and it's made a huge difference in my life.

Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Redsoil on October 14, 2012, 04:10:25 AM
I wnder if it may stave off some of the dirty looks and comments if your son was to do up a sign for the front window of the vehicle?  Possibly something in coloured crayons along the lines of:

"Yes I DO need the special parking!  My Mom hopes I'll be better soon."  Laminate it and put it up so pedestrians can see it without your vision being obscured.  You could use blu-tac or similar so it can be taken down when not needed.

Yes, (pre-empting here) you shouldn't need to. I know that often people don't wish to share medical details, nor feel they have to justify such things, but the sign might explain without too much detail.  This might just make life easier for your son, so he doesn't have to feel the world is judging him.  And you don't have to deal with horrible people.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: 25wishes on October 14, 2012, 08:09:37 AM
I have been following this thread with interest and sympathy. I am so sorry you keep running into these horrible people. I can MAYBE imagine myself wondering (To myself only) about an able-bodied adult, without a placard, parking in a HP space. But to say something, to someone with a placard, and helping their child - wow. That is not only mean, it shows a very small mind that they are minding everyone else's business as they go about their day.

 There are so many "invisible" disabilites - pain, balance problems, and shortness of breath, to name a few, it does not behoove anyone to "second guess" someone in a HP space.

 I would suggest going beyond the icy glare and teacher look and go straight to Mama Bear. They are upsetting your son with their ignorance and that is NOT COOL.

Hugs to both of you.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: RooRoo on October 14, 2012, 08:11:18 AM
Quote
She (mom) would use the handicapped placard even when her daughter wasn't with her, much to the annoyance of other visitors. The Director finally got her to stop when it was pointed out that other disabled patrons couldn't park there ...

these thoughtless - and law-breaking - people are probly a big reason why we invisible-handicapped people get the nasty reactions. grr.

Copied and pasted:
I had surgery on my left hand on Oct. 11th, which means I must hunt and peck with my right hand. That is so slow that I plan to desert my usual grammar and spelling for the next few days, until I can use my left hand a little. Thank you all for your patience!

Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: PeterM on October 14, 2012, 03:06:07 PM
I really like the "You're upsetting my child" comment, for times when no response simply doesn't work.

I wouldn't advise using this one, because cretins like those you describe aren't likely to care. They might well think you and your child need to be upset enough to realize you should stop doing what they think you shouldn't be doing.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: StarFaerie on October 14, 2012, 07:53:50 PM
Can I suggest that you ignore any dirty looks or muttering entirely? It'll reduce your stress level markedly.

For the dirty looks, how can you even be sure that they are giving you a dirty look and that isn't just their normal look? I know I've been accused of giving people dirty looks when I was just staring into space. Assume the best of them (ie it wasn't a dirty look, just a look), give them a nice friendly smile and get on with your day. Otherwise you'll spend a lot of your time worrying about what others think and that's a killer.

Muttering, if you can't hear it clearly, again assume the best and pretend they are just repeating their shopping list.

If they approach you, then you need to worry about it and take action.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Danika on October 14, 2012, 07:59:03 PM
Can I suggest that you ignore any dirty looks or muttering entirely? It'll reduce your stress level markedly.

For the dirty looks, how can you even be sure that they are giving you a dirty look and that isn't just their normal look? I know I've been accused of giving people dirty looks when I was just staring into space. Assume the best of them (ie it wasn't a dirty look, just a look), give them a nice friendly smile and get on with your day. Otherwise you'll spend a lot of your time worrying about what others think and that's a killer.

Muttering, if you can't hear it clearly, again assume the best and pretend they are just repeating their shopping list.

If they approach you, then you need to worry about it and take action.

This is probably the wisest course of action, if you can pull it off.

Do you like to sing, at all? Maybe you and or son could sing a song or two every time you are getting him in or out of the car. Then, you won't hear other people's voices at all.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: mmswm on October 14, 2012, 09:26:29 PM
Thank you everybody for your kind replies.  I do try to ignore, but it does upset me. Like I said before, I have a really hard time doing anything but smiling pleasantly, even when I want to rip somebody's head off. I hate to come across as mean or rude. I think I just needed "permission" to not smile all the time. Today we went to the movies.  It was a great trip!  My little one LOVES ghost stories and has been begging me for at least to years to go to a scary movie, so that's what we did (and yes, I know it seems strange with his aversion to chaos, but scary stories seem to be the exception...his favorite tv show is the "A Haunting" series).  I didn't notice anybody making any rude comments or dirty looks, but I was much more comfortable and confident in the event that I did.  Maybe it's the confidence that I needed.  You guys helped me with that, so I am very grateful.  :)
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: camlan on October 15, 2012, 05:18:09 AM
mmswm, this may take some time, but I think you need to work on not smiling. A person who is not smiling is not mean or rude. They are simply a person who is not smiling. You do not have to be smiling all the time for people to think you are nice.

In fact, by smiling all the time, even when other people are being mean and rude to you and your children, you are doing them a disservice. By smiling, you allow them to think that their actions are correct, that they have a right to give you dirty looks and make mean comments about you.

When your children misbehave, do you keep smiling at them and using a pleasant tone of voice? Or do you stop smiling, gradually use a sterner tone of voice, and by other body language clues, show them that they are beginning to tread on thin ice?

Start training all these random bystanders that they are in the wrong. Well, they are probably not going to come to the realization that they were wrong based on one encounter with you. But don't train them that it's okay to make rude remarks to strangers.  When they give you a dirty look, try shooting a stern look right back at them. Don't be nice and pleasant. You don' t have to be nice and pleasant to avoid being rude. You can be blunt and a bit stern while still being perfectly polite.

My SIL, who has a 13 year old son in a wheelchair, is a tiny little petite woman of about 5 feet. When she gets harassed by bystanders about the handicapped placard or where she's parked, her body language is not defensive. Instead, she stands tall (well, as tall as she can), she looks the other person right in the eye, and says, "My son needs the handicapped access," in a strong, firm, authoritative voice. Then she breaks eye contact, and turns back to what she was doing, dismissing the other person completely. She takes control of the situation; she doesn't let the situation control her. And most of the time, the other person slinks away, aware that they have crossed a line they shouldn't have.

Think of it as teaching your children to stand up for themselves.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this. It sounds like you have enough to deal with as it is.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Herim on October 15, 2012, 05:36:29 AM
Sad to hear about your son!
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Yvaine on October 15, 2012, 07:45:40 AM
To answer your original question, the child is the owner of a placard when they are present in the car.  If they are not in the car or not being picked up in the car the placard is not for use.

I think you've misread the subject line and transposed a couple of words. The OP is not asking "When is a child the owner of a handicapped placard?" I'm sure she knows not to use the placard if the child isn't there.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: rashea on October 15, 2012, 09:40:39 AM
I have practice with those looks. I'm semi-disabled these days, but I've been more so in the past. I suggest ignoring what you can, and responding with "I've assessed our needs, and this is a need" at other times. One tip, if you put a bumper sticker or something on the car that addresses disability awareness it can help. Also, check over at butyoudontlooksick.com for tips, and support for your son. Especially read the Spoon Theory if you haven't. It can really help give you permission to park in those spots even on "good days". Do you really want him spending that precious energy walking to and from a store rather than playing? 
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Giggity on October 15, 2012, 02:25:51 PM
I'm looking for a good way to deal with people who say nasty things or give me dirty looks when I park in a handicapped space when I have my 10 year old son with me.

Dealing with those, that's easy. Ignore them. You don't *know* the reason they look like that, any more than they *know* the reason you have a placard. That might just be their face.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: mmswm on October 15, 2012, 04:13:01 PM
Camlam, thanks for the advise.  I really do need to work on the idea that not smiling doesn't equate to being rude. I think you're right.  I think by smiling all the time I'm giving people the idea that I can be walked on, and I think this particular trait probably spills over into other areas of my life.

Hotdish, you are, of course, correct.  I don't know for sure that the dirty looks are pointed at me for a particular reason.  When I can overhear comments, it's a different story, but I can't tell from just the looks.  I guess I've just gotten sensitive over time, and I need to work on not being so sensitive.  I know I'm in the right by using the space when my son is with me, and I need to just stand a little taller and not let those things bother me.  This will take some time, but I promise I will work on it. 
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Giggity on October 15, 2012, 04:20:16 PM
I don't know for sure that the dirty looks are pointed at me for a particular reason.

Really, you don't even know that they *are* directed at you. It could be someone behind you. It could be a plant they don't like or a store they don't patronize. It could be that that's just how they look all the time.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Moray on October 15, 2012, 04:23:02 PM
I don't know for sure that the dirty looks are pointed at me for a particular reason.

Really, you don't even know that they *are* directed at you. It could be someone behind you. It could be a plant they don't like or a store they don't patronize. It could be that that's just how they look all the time.

That's a good point. I've been told that I look like I'm about to cut someone when I really concentrate.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: RingTailedLemur on October 15, 2012, 04:35:42 PM
mmswm, did you submit your story to Not Always Right?

http://notalwaysright.com/not-all-knights-are-in-shining-armor/24174

I hope so - I'd hate to think there was more than one person out there who'd run over a walker.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: mmswm on October 15, 2012, 04:46:27 PM
mmswm, did you submit your story to Not Always Right?

http://notalwaysright.com/not-all-knights-are-in-shining-armor/24174

I hope so - I'd hate to think there was more than one person out there who'd run over a walker.

That would be me. I mostly submitted it because even after a few months, thinking about the young men that helped me after the old man left still makes me smile, and they really did restore my faith in humanity.  Even though I never caught their names, I hope they see the story and know how much I really appreciated what they did that day. 

On a side note, that's actually my second story that I've had published on the "Not Always" sites.  A few months back I had one on "Not Always Working"

http://notalwaysworking.com/?s=accidon%27t
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Danika on October 15, 2012, 05:50:50 PM
I don't know for sure that the dirty looks are pointed at me for a particular reason.

Really, you don't even know that they *are* directed at you. It could be someone behind you. It could be a plant they don't like or a store they don't patronize. It could be that that's just how they look all the time.

I was thinking of this thread today and I agree with this.

Today, at an event with lots of people, I saw a lady pushing a stroller with a young boy inside. I saw something unusual next to his face and was worried that he might have just gotten injured and his mom didn't know so I looked more closely. I try my best never to stare in public but I wanted to be sure in case I should tell his mother he was bleeding or something. It turned out that it was some kind of apparatus, I'm not sure what for, but he didn't look recently injured so I had no reason to be concerned and so I looked away.

Then I thought of this thread and wondered if the mother thought I was staring at or making fun of her child - and I certainly would never do that. Hopefully, a lot of the folks who look at you and your child are just wondering "what disability does that child have?" and are curious and looking hard to answer their question. Hopefully, they mean nothing and are just too conspicuous.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: floridamom on October 16, 2012, 12:17:04 AM
mmswm, did you submit your story to Not Always Right?

http://notalwaysright.com/not-all-knights-are-in-shining-armor/24174

I hope so - I'd hate to think there was more than one person out there who'd run over a walker.

That would be me. I mostly submitted it because even after a few months, thinking about the young men that helped me after the old man left still makes me smile, and they really did restore my faith in humanity.  Even though I never caught their names, I hope they see the story and know how much I really appreciated what they did that day. 

On a side note, that's actually my second story that I've had published on the "Not Always" sites.  A few months back I had one on "Not Always Working"

http://notalwaysworking.com/?s=accidon%27t

I was reading the story today and it sounded just what you wrote LOL! I read it daily:)  I was about ask if that was you and saw someone else asked the question:)
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: poundcake on October 16, 2012, 02:02:56 AM
I was coming here to post about that too!
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: laud_shy_girl on October 16, 2012, 05:04:39 AM
I was going to ask too. I had the strongest moment of Deja vu until I remembered where I read it before. I am really glad he was help accountable for the damage.

Accidon’t would be great for the "Never shopping there again" thread.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Kaire on October 16, 2012, 09:51:34 AM
I'm working on handling these rude people too.   Just last month I had an elderly man scream at me for parking in a handicapped spot without my hang tag displayed from my rear view mirror.  I showed it to him, calmly said it was on my dash, which was legal and to contact the secretary of state's office to verify this.

He continued to scream, tell me where I could go (hint- I'd need a handbasket) and pretty much terrorize me.

I have now decided my ONLY reponse to such people in the future (this has happened multiple times in 19 years) is "shall I call the police to settle this or would you like to?" as I hold my cell phone out.  I will not try to talk my way out of verbal abuse again.

Just to share, the man who did this last month proceeded to pull into a space across from me, hit someone's car, back out and leave.  I took his plate number and talked to the owners of the car he hit.  Turns out he hit the car in the same place as existing damage, but the couple were so nice to me and the woman gave me a huge hug because I was so upset at the man screaming at me.  The old coot scraped the whole side of his van up, so he didn't get away undamaged.

I'm not sure what kind of world he lives in thought that he could condemn me and verbally abuse me for not displaying my permit how he wants it displayed, but it was ok to hit a car and run.   ::)
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Minmom3 on October 16, 2012, 10:43:35 AM
He's in a terrified world where they're going to pull his license because he's no longer competent to drive.  Bet you money....

It doesn't excuse his actions, of course.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Danika on October 16, 2012, 01:25:13 PM
I'm working on handling these rude people too.   Just last month I had an elderly man scream at me for parking in a handicapped spot without my hang tag displayed from my rear view mirror.  I showed it to him, calmly said it was on my dash, which was legal and to contact the secretary of state's office to verify this.

He continued to scream, tell me where I could go (hint- I'd need a handbasket) and pretty much terrorize me.

I have now decided my ONLY reponse to such people in the future (this has happened multiple times in 19 years) is "shall I call the police to settle this or would you like to?" as I hold my cell phone out.  I will not try to talk my way out of verbal abuse again.

Just to share, the man who did this last month proceeded to pull into a space across from me, hit someone's car, back out and leave.  I took his plate number and talked to the owners of the car he hit.  Turns out he hit the car in the same place as existing damage, but the couple were so nice to me and the woman gave me a huge hug because I was so upset at the man screaming at me.  The old coot scraped the whole side of his van up, so he didn't get away undamaged.

I'm not sure what kind of world he lives in thought that he could condemn me and verbally abuse me for not displaying my permit how he wants it displayed, but it was ok to hit a car and run.   ::)

I'm outraged on your behalf!  :o

And I'm glad that he didn't physically hurt you or it didn't escalate into more because the guy sounds irrational and, at the very least, an aggressive special-snowflake.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: AreaWoman on October 16, 2012, 02:52:42 PM
OP, I don't know if it is like this where you live now, but where I live, there is a lot of murmuring in the press and elsewhere about alleged handicapped tag abuse, since the number of handicapped tags issued in my state would seem to outweigh the number of likely handicapped individuals based on population statistics.  While that may be true, I fear that it has led to handicapped parking vigilantes who behave in the way many have described in this thread.  (And it is really bad in the city where I live and work, since those with handicapped tags park free at metered parking, which presently runs at up to $6 an hour downtown, depending on demand.)
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: mmswm on October 16, 2012, 03:51:02 PM
AreaWoman, I think you're probably onto something with the abuse of the parking spaces.  I don't think it's a huge problem where I am, but it's likely enough of a problem that people have gotten sensitive about it.

To everybody that posted alternate scenarios: thank you.  I hadn't thought of the other reasons why people might look grumpy.  I'm quite certain I'm over-sensitive. 

Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: lollylegs on October 17, 2012, 09:04:56 PM
mmswm, did you submit your story to Not Always Right?

http://notalwaysright.com/not-all-knights-are-in-shining-armor/24174

I hope so - I'd hate to think there was more than one person out there who'd run over a walker.

That would be me. I mostly submitted it because even after a few months, thinking about the young men that helped me after the old man left still makes me smile, and they really did restore my faith in humanity.  Even though I never caught their names, I hope they see the story and know how much I really appreciated what they did that day. 

On a side note, that's actually my second story that I've had published on the "Not Always" sites.  A few months back I had one on "Not Always Working"

http://notalwaysworking.com/?s=accidon%27t

That story made me cry sad tears and happy tears.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Pigeon on October 18, 2012, 08:01:09 AM
I've some sort-of-personal experience with a similar situation, as I have friends whose daughter has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and a parking placard as a result. When she was having a "good" day, they faced the same disgusting behavior described by the OP.

In dealing with the harassers, they employed the same great suggestions offered throughout this thread. Their daughter, too, was very upset by this. They found the best way to deal with it was humor - a little catchphrase they could whisper between themselves that never failed to make their daughter laugh.   ;D

In their case, the daughter was a major Monty Python fan. When someone was behaving in a particularly deplorable fashion, they would whisper to their daughter, "Their mother was a hamster and their father smelt of elderberries."  :)  Obviously, it didn't change how poorly the harassers were acting, but it did put a smile on the girl's face.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Ambrosia Hino on October 18, 2012, 10:58:06 AM
I've had to deal with it a few times, but the cases I had were actually a bit amusing.

First story. Hubby and I (well, then he was DF...it was about 4 days before the wedding) were driving late at night and stopped at a fast food place for a snack. Hubby pulls into the only open parking space (handicapped), hangs his temporary tag from the mirror (just came off crutches, major ankle sprain), and gets out, walks over to the trashcan and throws away a brown glass bottle. And says "good evening" to the police officer standing next to the trashcan >:D The officer understandibly wants to double check DH's liscense/ID and match it to the name on the permit, and examines the glass bottle (IBC root beer!)

We had a GREAT laugh about this, on multiple occasions later.

Second story. DH and I pulled into a parking spot (handicapped) at our local movie theatre. DH hangs my temporary tag (back injury) and we get out of the car. An elderly couple walks past and the man starts grumping to his wife "they don't LOOK handicapped." She glances at our car and sees the tag hanging from the mirror and shuts him down with "well, they ARE" as they finish walking away.

Not as funny, but it was nice to see his companion shut him down before he started making a stink to us...I probably would've started to cry, I was on so many medications at the time.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: nayberry on October 22, 2012, 03:57:29 AM
AreaWoman, I think you're probably onto something with the abuse of the parking spaces.  I don't think it's a huge problem where I am, but it's likely enough of a problem that people have gotten sensitive about it.

To everybody that posted alternate scenarios: thank you.  I hadn't thought of the other reasons why people might look grumpy.  I'm quite certain I'm over-sensitive.

:) your tag story made it to the NAR fb feed :D
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Cheapie on October 22, 2012, 12:37:48 PM
This is beyond the pale!  I can't understand how some people can have absolutely no common sense or decency when it comes to this type of situation.  Do people really believe that the driver of a car should be the handicapped one?  Of course a handicapped passenger has every right to use a handicapped spot!

I agree with the previous posters that advise an 'icy stare' and no comment.  None is necessary.  Focus all your attention on your lovely boys and tune out whatever comments are directed toward you.  Those are precious seconds of you life, lost, when you let those 'types' of people have control over your emotions.

I myself, have never understood the 'attractiveness' of parking as close to a building as possible.  I park waaaaaay in the back for a number of reasons.  There are tons of open spots so I can pull in quickly and drive through so I am facing out ... no having to back out, and no one ever gets mad cuz no one else is parked back there.  There are never any cars around me so I don't have to worry about getting or giving door dings ... especially when my boys are getting out of the car.  My heart and butt can use the added exercise of walking the length of the parking lot.  And, in the winter, there are way fewer 'frozen ruts' to drive over so my filling stay in place nicely.  A lot of times, I am parked and entering the store while other cars are still looking for a close spot.  I have nothing against people looking for close spots though ... means my favorite area to park is always available!  ;D

Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: TootsNYC on October 22, 2012, 01:19:30 PM
I wonder if you'd get less hassle if you had your son draw a picture of the handicapped-access symbol and write, "My mom has a parking card for me! Thanks, Mom!"

And put that on the car or other visible places.

Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: 25wishes on October 26, 2012, 12:30:08 PM
If the local media in my area was running clips about people abusing HP spots and placards, I would suggest to them they ALSO run spots about how not everyone who needs HP parking has visible handicaps. Spend a few minutes letting the public know what it is like to have a bad back, chronic pain, shortness of breath, etc.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: bopper on October 26, 2012, 12:46:27 PM
"He has it tough enough without you making uninformed comments."
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: catrunning on October 28, 2012, 08:50:12 PM
I got this all the time when I was taking my elderly father to the store, to doctor's offices, etc.   He had a series of strokes and could only walk with the help of a walker, and that was on good days.  Other days, we used the wheelchair.   So, naturally, I got a handicapped placard which I used only when I took him places.   Yes, I could have let him out, driven off to park and walked back to him.   But he got very anxious and panicked when left alone, even for a few minutes.

When strangers came up and politely reminded me that I parked in the handicapped spot, I explained about my father and they always apologized and wished me well.  If they gave me grief, I just gave them a cold stare and asked them why they enjoyed terrorizing the elderly.   They would get it when I went around to the trunk, took out the walker or wheelchair, helped him out of the car and slowly --- very, very slowly --- went on our way.   A few mumbled apologies, but most just slunk off.

This is a two-edged sword.   I'm glad that much of the general public feels that the able-bodied who exploit handicapped parking solely for their own convenience should be called out.   I've been out with my dad when all the handicapped parking was taken, and some of it by people who obviously didn't have disabilities and had neither a disability plate or placard.  (Yes, I know that many disabilities are invisible, but when you have school aged jocks wearing their letters and bouncing along, I assume any disabilities they have lie solely in the moral realm.)  On the other hand, people should realize that the disabled person is not necessarily the driver and hold back any comments until they are reasonable certain that no one in the car has a disability.       
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: camlan on October 29, 2012, 05:45:28 AM
[snip]
This is a two-edged sword.   I'm glad that much of the general public feels that the able-bodied who exploit handicapped parking solely for their own convenience should be called out.   I've been out with my dad when all the handicapped parking was taken, and some of it by people who obviously didn't have disabilities and had neither a disability plate or placard.  (Yes, I know that many disabilities are invisible, but when you have school aged jocks wearing their letters and bouncing along, I assume any disabilities they have lie solely in the moral realm.)  On the other hand, people should realize that the disabled person is not necessarily the driver and hold back any comments until they are reasonable certain that no one in the car has a disability.       

I always check for the handicapped placard or license plate. If there is one, I  no longer have that vehicle on my radar. Not for me to get into who needs the space and who doesn't. (Although I still have my suspicions about the two obviously very fit young men who jumped out of a pick-up that was so high off the ground I'd need a ladder to get into it.)

Many states are trying to come up with ways to prevent able-bodied friends and relations from using the hang tags. At one point, putting the disabled person's picture on it was considered, but there were concerns about privacy and stalking and other issues. They are still working on it, though.

Then there's the other issue, of people who don't really need them persuading medical personnel to sign off on the form to get one. Still working on that one, too.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: JustEstelle on October 29, 2012, 01:27:23 PM
[snip]
This is a two-edged sword.   I'm glad that much of the general public feels that the able-bodied who exploit handicapped parking solely for their own convenience should be called out.   I've been out with my dad when all the handicapped parking was taken, and some of it by people who obviously didn't have disabilities and had neither a disability plate or placard.  (Yes, I know that many disabilities are invisible, but when you have school aged jocks wearing their letters and bouncing along, I assume any disabilities they have lie solely in the moral realm.)  On the other hand, people should realize that the disabled person is not necessarily the driver and hold back any comments until they are reasonable certain that no one in the car has a disability.       

I always check for the handicapped placard or license plate. If there is one, I  no longer have that vehicle on my radar. Not for me to get into who needs the space and who doesn't. (Although I still have my suspicions about the two obviously very fit young men who jumped out of a pick-up that was so high off the ground I'd need a ladder to get into it.)

Many states are trying to come up with ways to prevent able-bodied friends and relations from using the hang tags. At one point, putting the disabled person's picture on it was considered, but there were concerns about privacy and stalking and other issues. They are still working on it, though.

Then there's the other issue, of people who don't really need them persuading medical personnel to sign off on the form to get one. Still working on that one, too.


In Texas, the placards are tied to the owner's driver's license number (or ID).  Fairly easy for the police to check to see if the owner is present with a card displaying the placard.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Yvaine on October 29, 2012, 01:30:14 PM
[snip]
This is a two-edged sword.   I'm glad that much of the general public feels that the able-bodied who exploit handicapped parking solely for their own convenience should be called out.   I've been out with my dad when all the handicapped parking was taken, and some of it by people who obviously didn't have disabilities and had neither a disability plate or placard.  (Yes, I know that many disabilities are invisible, but when you have school aged jocks wearing their letters and bouncing along, I assume any disabilities they have lie solely in the moral realm.)  On the other hand, people should realize that the disabled person is not necessarily the driver and hold back any comments until they are reasonable certain that no one in the car has a disability.       

I always check for the handicapped placard or license plate. If there is one, I  no longer have that vehicle on my radar. Not for me to get into who needs the space and who doesn't. (Although I still have my suspicions about the two obviously very fit young men who jumped out of a pick-up that was so high off the ground I'd need a ladder to get into it.)

Many states are trying to come up with ways to prevent able-bodied friends and relations from using the hang tags. At one point, putting the disabled person's picture on it was considered, but there were concerns about privacy and stalking and other issues. They are still working on it, though.

Then there's the other issue, of people who don't really need them persuading medical personnel to sign off on the form to get one. Still working on that one, too.


In Texas, the placards are tied to the owner's driver's license number (or ID).  Fairly easy for the police to check to see if the owner is present with a card displaying the placard.

What would they do in the case of a minor with a disability, who was too young to have a driver's license? I hope they wouldn't just emblazon the SSN on it!  ;D
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: rashea on October 29, 2012, 01:37:17 PM
Mine in Vermont has it's own registration card, just like the one for the car.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: O'Dell on October 29, 2012, 01:43:04 PM
[snip]
This is a two-edged sword.   I'm glad that much of the general public feels that the able-bodied who exploit handicapped parking solely for their own convenience should be called out.   I've been out with my dad when all the handicapped parking was taken, and some of it by people who obviously didn't have disabilities and had neither a disability plate or placard.  (Yes, I know that many disabilities are invisible, but when you have school aged jocks wearing their letters and bouncing along, I assume any disabilities they have lie solely in the moral realm.)  On the other hand, people should realize that the disabled person is not necessarily the driver and hold back any comments until they are reasonable certain that no one in the car has a disability.       

I always check for the handicapped placard or license plate. If there is one, I  no longer have that vehicle on my radar. Not for me to get into who needs the space and who doesn't. (Although I still have my suspicions about the two obviously very fit young men who jumped out of a pick-up that was so high off the ground I'd need a ladder to get into it.)

Many states are trying to come up with ways to prevent able-bodied friends and relations from using the hang tags. At one point, putting the disabled person's picture on it was considered, but there were concerns about privacy and stalking and other issues. They are still working on it, though.

Then there's the other issue, of people who don't really need them persuading medical personnel to sign off on the form to get one. Still working on that one, too.


In Texas, the placards are tied to the owner's driver's license number (or ID).  Fairly easy for the police to check to see if the owner is present with a card displaying the placard.

How does that work for people who don't drive? My grandmother had placard that could be hung from the mirror of any car she drove or rode in. That was especially helpful after she had a stroke and wasn't allowed to drive anymore. My husband also had a similar placard that had dates on it after he had surgery on his leg. I'm just curious. :)

I'm like you...if I see an indication that the car is rightfully parked in a handicap spot, I don't think anything more about it. For whatever reason, handicap spots seem to be a hot button issue for a lot of people. Not just when they see people parking in them illegally.When I worked in a store, I got a dressing down from a customer about a variety of issues including, in his opinion, having too many handicap parking spaces (mandated by the state and the store had say in it). He also included in his diatribe the spelling of my name from my name tag and it's origin. That incident put into my mind that some people have anger issues and handicap parking is the type of thing to trip their trigger...it's unfair to them if they can't get that close parking spot seems to be the argument.

That's part of the reason I think that a short generic explanation or none at all with an icy look and then walking away is the best way to handle these situations. It's a "don't engage the crazy" type of thing. The icy glare is there to let the person know that you won't be intimidated or goaded into arguing with them.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Jones on October 29, 2012, 01:51:15 PM
Theoretically, non-drivers can get a state issued ID. It has a picture and a number, but has nothing to do with driving.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 29, 2012, 01:52:38 PM
My Dad had a hang tag for 6 months when he was recovering from hip replacement surgery.  It is expired now but he's kept the tag and uses it when there is no other close parking.   ::)  I keep telling him that if he still needs the darn thing occasionally, get his doctor to give him a new one!  Just because he has it doesn't mean he has to use it all the time.

And since he walks with a cane and a very noticeable limp, it's not like anyone is going to call him on it.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: O'Dell on October 29, 2012, 01:58:37 PM
Theoretically, non-drivers can get a state issued ID. It has a picture and a number, but has nothing to do with driving.

I know, but is that noted somewhere on a hanging placard? And don't even drivers get one for when they ride in another person's vehicle?
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Yvaine on October 29, 2012, 02:05:25 PM
Theoretically, non-drivers can get a state issued ID. It has a picture and a number, but has nothing to do with driving.

Well, I looked at the info for my locale and apparently there's nothing barring a child getting a state ID. I didn't realize that and thought they were just for people who were of driving age but didn't drive--you learn something new every day. :)
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: camlan on October 29, 2012, 02:57:21 PM
My Dad had a hang tag for 6 months when he was recovering from hip replacement surgery.  It is expired now but he's kept the tag and uses it when there is no other close parking.   ::)  I keep telling him that if he still needs the darn thing occasionally, get his doctor to give him a new one!  Just because he has it doesn't mean he has to use it all the time.

And since he walks with a cane and a very noticeable limp, it's not like anyone is going to call him on it.

Is he aware that since it is expired, he could be ticketed for parking in a handicapped spot? I'd hate for that to happen to someone, when they could get a legal placard and not have to worry.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: mich3554 on October 29, 2012, 03:00:06 PM
Theoretically, non-drivers can get a state issued ID. It has a picture and a number, but has nothing to do with driving.

I know, but is that noted somewhere on a hanging placard? And don't even drivers get one for when they ride in another person's vehicle?

I received an ID card to go with my h/c placard.  As I can't drive right now, the ID card stays with me, so the placard can only be used when I am in the car.  Officials have the right to ask for my ID.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 29, 2012, 03:03:57 PM
My Dad had a hang tag for 6 months when he was recovering from hip replacement surgery.  It is expired now but he's kept the tag and uses it when there is no other close parking.   ::)  I keep telling him that if he still needs the darn thing occasionally, get his doctor to give him a new one!  Just because he has it doesn't mean he has to use it all the time.

And since he walks with a cane and a very noticeable limp, it's not like anyone is going to call him on it.

Is he aware that since it is expired, he could be ticketed for parking in a handicapped spot? I'd hate for that to happen to someone, when they could get a legal placard and not have to worry.

Oh, he knows.  But figures, 'They'll never look at the date anyway'.  I always thought I inherited my stubborness from my mother.  Since she died, I realize that Dad is very stubborn, too.  I keep telling him to go to the doctor and get a new one.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: O'Dell on October 29, 2012, 03:05:31 PM
Theoretically, non-drivers can get a state issued ID. It has a picture and a number, but has nothing to do with driving.

I know, but is that noted somewhere on a hanging placard? And don't even drivers get one for when they ride in another person's vehicle?

I received an ID card to go with my h/c placard.  As I can't drive right now, the ID card stays with me, so the placard can only be used when I am in the car.  Officials have the right to ask for my ID.

Ah I see. I don't remember my husband having anything like that (in Michigan) but maybe I didn't pay close enough attention to notice. :)
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: emwithme on October 29, 2012, 04:48:33 PM
I have ME, and so have a Blue Badge (UK variant of "handicapped tags").  I quite frequently get questioned because I look "normal" - especially when I've just arrived somewhere; less so when I'm going back to the car having done whatever it is I needed to do. 

I'm hoping the addition of this (http://stickmancommunications.co.uk/epages/747384.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/747384/Products/CS004CL) (which arrived this morning) will make people stop and think. 
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Sluggyfan on October 30, 2012, 01:01:00 PM
This is why I hate societal shaming and vigilanteism. I know we're talking about people with handicapped tags, and thankfully, for the most part, I think the system works pretty well -- I bet the scammers and jerks are few. And yes it can be jerky if someone borrows a family member's tag or parks in the space without a tag, but in the end it's a parking space. There are so many other things to be angry at than whether or not people who are "properly ill" are able to park a little closer to the door, or have to wait for proper parking to open up. 

I have the same problem when people make assumptions in general. For instance, shame a woman who "looks pregnant" for smoking or purchasing alcohol. I had one friend, for instance, who proudly claimed to have shamed a pregnant-looking woman for buying beer while cashing her out at her workplace. Can you imagine the nerve? There are dozens of scenarios I can think of where a pregnant-looking woman would buy beer, including her possibly not being pregnant!

Assumptions are a dangerous thing, and I certainly wish people would consider more than just the worst case scenario when throwing down for such relatively small things -- why die on such a small hill?
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: O'Dell on October 30, 2012, 01:20:44 PM
This is why I hate societal shaming and vigilanteism. I know we're talking about people with handicapped tags, and thankfully, for the most part, I think the system works pretty well -- I bet the scammers and jerks are few. And yes it can be jerky if someone borrows a family member's tag or parks in the space without a tag, but in the end it's a parking space. There are so many other things to be angry at than whether or not people who are "properly ill" are able to park a little closer to the door, or have to wait for proper parking to open up. 

I have the same problem when people make assumptions in general. For instance, shame a woman who "looks pregnant" for smoking or purchasing alcohol. I had one friend, for instance, who proudly claimed to have shamed a pregnant-looking woman for buying beer while cashing her out at her workplace. Can you imagine the nerve? There are dozens of scenarios I can think of where a pregnant-looking woman would buy beer, including her possibly not being pregnant!

Assumptions are a dangerous thing, and I certainly wish people would consider more than just the worst case scenario when throwing down for such relatively small things -- why die on such a small hill?

Maybe because it carries so little risk? Is a possibly pregnant woman or a handicapped person going to fight back? Probably not. The average person can be the bully for a little bit, work off some of their everyday frustrations, and walk away without injury...and maybe even some applause by onlookers.

Can ya' tell that I'm not a fan of people doing that either? ;)
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: CakeBeret on October 30, 2012, 02:27:45 PM
This is why I hate societal shaming and vigilanteism. I know we're talking about people with handicapped tags, and thankfully, for the most part, I think the system works pretty well -- I bet the scammers and jerks are few. And yes it can be jerky if someone borrows a family member's tag or parks in the space without a tag, but in the end it's a parking space. There are so many other things to be angry at than whether or not people who are "properly ill" are able to park a little closer to the door, or have to wait for proper parking to open up. 

I have the same problem when people make assumptions in general. For instance, shame a woman who "looks pregnant" for smoking or purchasing alcohol. I had one friend, for instance, who proudly claimed to have shamed a pregnant-looking woman for buying beer while cashing her out at her workplace. Can you imagine the nerve? There are dozens of scenarios I can think of where a pregnant-looking woman would buy beer, including her possibly not being pregnant!

Assumptions are a dangerous thing, and I certainly wish people would consider more than just the worst case scenario when throwing down for such relatively small things -- why die on such a small hill?

I agree with you. I got a few nasty looks buying beer while pregnant (for my husband) but thankfully no one confronted me.

The only time I've been tempted to confront someone over things like this, is when I was a brand new mom. My grocery store has parking spaces labelled "For Expecting and New Mothers Only". I wanted to use one of those spots because I was SO tired, my baby and his carrier were SO heavy, and I really needed groceries. The spots were all taken, so parked halfway down the lot instead. As I walked past I saw two young men getting out of a two-seater car parked in one of the New Mom spots. I was so sorely tempted to ask them cheerily, "So which one of you is pregnant?" but I reined myself in.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: LadyClaire on October 30, 2012, 02:57:39 PM
This is why I hate societal shaming and vigilanteism. I know we're talking about people with handicapped tags, and thankfully, for the most part, I think the system works pretty well -- I bet the scammers and jerks are few. And yes it can be jerky if someone borrows a family member's tag or parks in the space without a tag, but in the end it's a parking space. There are so many other things to be angry at than whether or not people who are "properly ill" are able to park a little closer to the door, or have to wait for proper parking to open up. 

I have the same problem when people make assumptions in general. For instance, shame a woman who "looks pregnant" for smoking or purchasing alcohol. I had one friend, for instance, who proudly claimed to have shamed a pregnant-looking woman for buying beer while cashing her out at her workplace. Can you imagine the nerve? There are dozens of scenarios I can think of where a pregnant-looking woman would buy beer, including her possibly not being pregnant!

Assumptions are a dangerous thing, and I certainly wish people would consider more than just the worst case scenario when throwing down for such relatively small things -- why die on such a small hill?

One of the professors at work had a research grant that involved cigarette smoke. She was heavily pregnant, and would go buy cartons of cigarettes at the gas station down the road to use in her research. She said she got so many nasty looks and comments that she eventually started sending her lab assistant to go buy the cigarettes.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: camlan on October 30, 2012, 04:01:58 PM
This is why I hate societal shaming and vigilanteism. I know we're talking about people with handicapped tags, and thankfully, for the most part, I think the system works pretty well -- I bet the scammers and jerks are few. And yes it can be jerky if someone borrows a family member's tag or parks in the space without a tag, but in the end it's a parking space. There are so many other things to be angry at than whether or not people who are "properly ill" are able to park a little closer to the door, or have to wait for proper parking to open up. 


The problem is that the person taking the handicapped space just to be closer to the door is taking the space of someone who might not be able to park at all without the handicapped space. Or who may not be able to get to the store/their job/the doctor's office from the far reaches of the parking lot. Those people do get angry when they see someone cheating the system. It has a significant impact on their lives.

It's not so much the location of the space, as that they are removing one of an already limited resource from people who really need it.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: mich3554 on October 30, 2012, 04:25:29 PM
This is why I hate societal shaming and vigilanteism. I know we're talking about people with handicapped tags, and thankfully, for the most part, I think the system works pretty well -- I bet the scammers and jerks are few. And yes it can be jerky if someone borrows a family member's tag or parks in the space without a tag, but in the end it's a parking space. There are so many other things to be angry at than whether or not people who are "properly ill" are able to park a little closer to the door, or have to wait for proper parking to open up. 


The problem is that the person taking the handicapped space just to be closer to the door is taking the space of someone who might not be able to park at all without the handicapped space. Or who may not be able to get to the store/their job/the doctor's office from the far reaches of the parking lot. Those people do get angry when they see someone cheating the system. It has a significant impact on their lives.

It's not so much the location of the space, as that they are removing one of an already limited resource from people who really need it.

Exactly.

I can't begin to count the number of times that I have left errands undone because all h/c places were full and it was not prudent for me to walk through a snowy lot.

At my job, there are a whopping 15 h/c spots for about 5000 employees.  As I was parking one morning, I realized that there was a cab waiting in one of the spots.  I crutched over to the cab driver and told him that within 10 minutes, every single space was going to be filled and someone was going to be out of luck at going into work because he was illegally parked in one of the few h/c spaces. My next call was going to be to campus security if he hadn't moved.  Fortunately, he moved.

Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: mmswm on October 30, 2012, 06:09:09 PM
As to the issue of state issued ID's:

All of my children have picture ID's in the form of US Passport cards.  These are the same size as drivers' licences, but are federally issued passports instead of the big passport books.  They're not valid for air travel, but are for land and sea travel to specific countries.  Since I lived in ND for a long time, and frequently traveled to Winnipeg, I got those in addition to the passport books because they're easier to manage at the border crossings. Because I have those, I chose not to get the state IDs for them.  Some form of picture ID makes life a LOT easier when dealing with multiple doctors, hospitals and government agencies.  If I'm ever questioned on the handicap tag by a police officer, there's a serial number on the placard that can be looked up to determine who the tag was issued to, and having a picture ID for the child in question makes those times MUCH easier and faster to resolve.  And yes, I have had people report me and have had to prove that the tag is legitimate.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Kaire on November 01, 2012, 03:39:39 PM
I'm in Illinois and my placard has my birth month and year punched in it, so it's tied to me.  I guess if I didn't have a driver's license, I'd have to produce my birth certificate.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: JeanFromBNA on November 01, 2012, 08:00:27 PM
This is why I hate societal shaming and vigilanteism. I know we're talking about people with handicapped tags, and thankfully, for the most part, I think the system works pretty well -- I bet the scammers and jerks are few. And yes it can be jerky if someone borrows a family member's tag or parks in the space without a tag, but in the end it's a parking space. There are so many other things to be angry at than whether or not people who are "properly ill" are able to park a little closer to the door, or have to wait for proper parking to open up. 


The problem is that the person taking the handicapped space just to be closer to the door is taking the space of someone who might not be able to park at all without the handicapped space. Or who may not be able to get to the store/their job/the doctor's office from the far reaches of the parking lot. Those people do get angry when they see someone cheating the system. It has a significant impact on their lives.

It's not so much the location of the space, as that they are removing one of an already limited resource from people who really need it.

I live in an older part of the city where parking spaces are fewer, so I see a lot of abuse (no tags at all).  Ironically, it's also where a lot of folks who have mobility issues live who actually have the tags.  It's not feasible for them to park a couple of blocks away to go to the post office. I wish the police would patrol it more often.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: JustEstelle on November 01, 2012, 09:06:28 PM
Theoretically, non-drivers can get a state issued ID. It has a picture and a number, but has nothing to do with driving.

I know, but is that noted somewhere on a hanging placard? And don't even drivers get one for when they ride in another person's vehicle?

They don't put the entire ID number on the placard; only the first four digits.  Also, the owner's initials are on it.  If a policeman checks it, the owner's ID will match up with what is on record.  No, they do not emblazon a person's ID number in its entirety.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: JoW on November 01, 2012, 10:50:00 PM
I'm in Illinois and my placard has my birth month and year punched in it.....
They used similar here for years, but they had to discontinue it.  The tag gave an approximate age and gender.  The local thugs would find a car with a tag that said "F  65+" and wait until the owner came out so they could steal her purse.  Now the police have a harder time identifying the young man who borrowed his crippled grandmother's tag. 
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: Kaire on November 02, 2012, 09:14:52 AM
I'm in Illinois and my placard has my birth month and year punched in it.....
They used similar here for years, but they had to discontinue it.  The tag gave an approximate age and gender.  The local thugs would find a car with a tag that said "F  65+" and wait until the owner came out so they could steal her purse.  Now the police have a harder time identifying the young man who borrowed his crippled grandmother's tag.

Now that you mention it I'm rethinking whether it's month and year or month and date.  That's horrible that someone would do that, but sadly not surprising in this world we live in.
Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 02, 2012, 09:54:58 AM
I live in Florida, and we have an epidemic of improperly used disabled parking tags and spaces. In particular, at schools and in shopping mall parking lots. Many of these are other relatives permits being used fraudulently, sometimes after the relative in question is deceased.

I personally know of two people who use the permit issued to someone else in their family to park in disabled only parking when that person is not with them or they are not picking them up. However, I do not feel it is my place to say or do anything about it.

We have a citizen task force that does write citations and have vehicles towed for unauthorized parking in disabled only spaces. As I have both a license plate with the permit on it and my own permit, I use the spaces when I have need and report those parked in the spaces with no permit or license plate.

OP, I feel so bad for you and your children that you have to deal with this harassment.

Title: Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
Post by: dinvancouver on November 02, 2012, 09:28:23 PM
Theoretically, non-drivers can get a state issued ID. It has a picture and a number, but has nothing to do with driving.

Well, I looked at the info for my locale and apparently there's nothing barring a child getting a state ID. I didn't realize that and thought they were just for people who were of driving age but didn't drive--you learn something new every day. :)

I got my 10 year old a state ID when we were going on vacation. That way she had picture ID and wouldn't have to remember her address in an emergency.