Silly question.
When is the appropriate time to get these? Ewan just turned eight and is still walking, but I hate to have him march all the way from the far end of the lot at a place like, say Wal*Mart or the mall. We, of course, need a physician's letter, so I assume our neuro would be the best one to sign that. If I'm off base in thinking that we should get the placard yesterday, let me know. Otherwise, I'm getting the letter signed. :-)

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jerry,

as soon as diagnosis is made is an appropriate time. i know, hard to think of it at that time. we asked for it at the 1st annual appointment. ewan's pediatrician should be able to help you as well...if not, then yes, his neuro.
Jerry,
I also got one for my son soon after his diagnosis at 5. His pediatrician gave us a script I believe to get it. We don't always use it but for sure most of the time at Wal Mart or any other place where there is a long walk from the car. As it is my son has always had a hard time with any kind of long distance walking like shopping so I try and preserve his strength as much as possible. Emotionally it was a hard thing to get.
Hi - I got my son's when he started school 3 years ago and we use it often. If I can park close to the grocery store, Target, restaurant, etc. and it's not needed then I don't use it. I use it alot for his school. His school has the worst parking ever....I would have to park 3 or 4 blocks away sometimes for events, etc. when he would walk back with me. Anyway, I use it there alot. Also, living in Northern CA, parking is horrible 90% of the time...nothing compared to when I lived in Texas. Anyway, I think having your son walk less and not get tired is importantant. Our peditrician signed the forms to get ours.

Good luck.
My son Avery is 4 and we just got one for him last week. I have already used it several times and am finding it very helpful. He is still walking very well, but he has always gotten tired walking long distances and I generally use a Sit and Stand stroller (I have a 10 month old too) because of the long distances through parking lots at the mall, Target, etc.
My son is 10 and we got his diangosis when he was 8. We just got the placard this past April. It is good for when you have some shopping to do at walmart and after walking all around the place, you don't have to walk the giant parking lot too. I only use the card for places such as Walmart, or big stores. When we go into Blockbuster or something small, we just park in a regular spot. I want him walking all that he can.
I think it was the first thing I did after diagnosis...for me it was "something" I could do at a time when I felt helpless. We are very much of the belief that we bring Xavier as close to the "activity" as possible so that he uses his energy for his benefit and fun, not getting there. I think even your pediatrician would sign it for you. We don't use it everytime we go out, especially if we are going to a MDA function and we know there are going to be alot of handicapped people coming to an event. We also will not take the last handicapped spot in a place unless we are going to use his chair or it's MN winter :)
We got ours this summer, 3 years past diagnosis. Seph is doing well, but we were going on vacation and would be doing a lot of touristy things. i decided to go ahead and get the placard on my terms...not DMD's terms. Crazy I know, but it felt like I was controling it instead of it controlling me! It was a blessing to have on vacation too!
Jerry, we applied for one last December. Mark was 6 years old at the time. Dr. Escolar (neurologist) signed the form, I mailed it in to the MVA and in a week's time, we received 2 placards. It has been a walksaver for Mark so many times. He will even say to me, "Mom, use the handicap tag," when he knows I 'm looking for a parking spot.
My old way of thinking was it's better for him to walk, to get the exercise needed, but now I realize conserving his energy in every way possible is what makes him that painfee ball of energy until 10pm everynight!
Our MDA doctor gave us our script at our very first appt. Like others have mentioned, we don't use it all of the time, but in large parking lots, it's a lifesaver. I have had several unfortunate occasions where observers have given me a hard time for using it. Usually, it's a person who also has a handicap placard who has decided that I don't look like I need it. I can take it, but it's been challenging to have them yelling at me from their vehicle in front of my kids. I've been tempted to type up an explanation letter that I can pass out to such individuals, so I don't have to say anything. They are looking at me walking just fine and seeing 4 kids climbing out of the van, and they assume we are taking advantage. They somehow miss the little guy that struggles to get in and out and is a little clumsy.
Every step your son takes may be one less that he has left. Save 'em for when it counts. Something that I've found is that at any shopping center on a weekend or amusement park, there are never any empty spaces, and I do grind my teeth when I see a group of apparently able bodied adults troup into or out of their vehicle. On the other hand, my dad has a bad heart and could easily justify getting one of these placards, not that you'd notice unless you spent a lot of time around him.
Nothing has been said to me yet but I too have felt the glares of others as well as me and my 4 kids have climbed out of the car from the handicap space. I'm sure it really looks awful on those times when my son bolts from the car in excitement to get into the store. We did have an instance when my son was on his electric scooter at the county fair and a women yelled at him questioning him being on his scooter thinking he was taking off for a joyride on his grandpa's scooter. I had to tell her my son has Muscular Dystrophy and that it's his scooter. She was really taken back and I could tell felt bad. They don't know and I can understand why this would raise some eyebrows - especially if your son from all outside appearances still looks and acts like a fairly normal little boy. Unless they know people don't really notice the waddling gait, hypertrophic muscles and I guess until my son moves into the more advanced stages I can see why we get the stares from the handicap space and riding his scooter. I could care less and just ignore them. My concern is for my son and not what an outsider looking in, knowing nothing about our situation thinks. I'm happy to explain it to them though if they question it.

Danelle Dickerson said:
Our MDA doctor gave us our script at our very first appt. Like others have mentioned, we don't use it all of the time, but in large parking lots, it's a lifesaver. I have had several unfortunate occasions where observers have given me a hard time for using it. Usually, it's a person who also has a handicap placard who has decided that I don't look like I need it. I can take it, but it's been challenging to have them yelling at me from their vehicle in front of my kids. I've been tempted to type up an explanation letter that I can pass out to such individuals, so I don't have to say anything. They are looking at me walking just fine and seeing 4 kids climbing out of the van, and they assume we are taking advantage. They somehow miss the little guy that struggles to get in and out and is a little clumsy.
i don't care what other people think, so i don't notice glares. i am prepared to talk if someone has something to say, though.

i also don't glare at people who look phisically able when i see them get out of a vehicle in a handicap spot.

and, i no longer comment on a kid who looks to old to be in a stroller when i'm at an amuesment park. before the dx, i always thought, "Now, this is what's wrong with america's youth....lazy @$$ kids...". Instead, now i hope they are lazy and not affected with some disorder that keeps them from walking any sort of distance.

funny how my outlook changed after being dealt with dmd. i guess, one of those pluses of dmd. i'm no longer judgemental....just mental. lol ;-)

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