Author Topic: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.  (Read 18430 times)

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O'Dell

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2012, 03:26:03 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. :()
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camlan

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2012, 03:42:39 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.
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VorFemme

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2012, 03:49:21 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).
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jane7166

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2012, 04:01:51 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. 

SPuck

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #34 on: October 13, 2012, 04:56:42 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.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2012, 04:58:36 PM by SPuck »

Dr. F.

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #35 on: October 13, 2012, 05:43:08 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.

mmswm

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #36 on: October 13, 2012, 06:26:01 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. 
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Danika

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #37 on: October 13, 2012, 10:41:24 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.

Only me

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2012, 12:54:45 AM »
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

Raintree

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #39 on: October 14, 2012, 01:52:32 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!!

mmswm

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #40 on: October 14, 2012, 01:56:38 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.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

cicero

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #41 on: October 14, 2012, 04:14:22 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.


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Redsoil

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #42 on: October 14, 2012, 05:10:25 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.
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25wishes

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #43 on: October 14, 2012, 09:09:37 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.

RooRoo

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #44 on: October 14, 2012, 09:11:18 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!

"Someday we must write a book of Etiquette for sensible people," said Mrs. Morland, "though apart from a few rules it really boils down to an educated mind and a kind heart." ~ Angela Thirkell, Never Too Late