Caught of guard - Questions by Strangers

I guess I was not really ready for this. Today I had a stranger approach me and question why I parked in between 2 handicapped parking spaces during school dismissal. I told her that I can do it. (I am thankful to the school for their understanding and offering me that space to be used.) She did not stop there, she explained to me who can use those spaces and that I should not be using. I told her that I have permission from the school to use that space. That did not satisfy her; she continued loudly explaining to me again who can use that space. I was almost losing my patience. All I could say was, “Madam, I have permission to use that space. Please don’t worry”. She gave me that look, as if she is disgusted with me for taking away that space. I could not help but feel bad. I was glad my son was not there with me. I can’t help but wonder, what should have been my response.

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Comment by Danielle on January 3, 2009 at 12:06pm
Hi, we found that we often had questions, particuarly when we were shopping with a boy in a stretcher! I know we're completely rare, and probably the only family to have to use a stretcher (I'm not sure but I haven't met another yet) but either way, my brother was well and healthy, he wasn't ill, so he wanted to do all the things that everyone else was doing, he just found it physically difficult to sit up! Because of the funny looks, we decided to carry little cards (just like business cards) which said something along the lines of 'Frankie is in a stretcher but there is no emergency, he has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and finds it hard to sit up, but he's happy' or something along those lines, I can't remember exactly I'd have to look for one. It really saved people asking questions or us having to repeat ourselves, especially in front of Frankie. You could have something like 'My boy has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and is disabled' then followed by whatever you'd like to say.... I'd really recommend it, it saves you having to ever explain yourself.
Comment by Bains on December 8, 2008 at 6:32pm
Thank you all. I do not have the tag yet and will plan on getting one soon. -bain
Comment by Vickie Lee Beard on December 8, 2008 at 2:03pm
People can be extremely cruel, especially when a disability is not clearly evident. Be proactive make sure you always have a disabled parking hang tag and if you do, you'll know you are obeying the law and the space is designated for your child. Don't waste your time discussing your situation unless you feel inclined to do so and if the person insist on making it an issue, copy down their tag number and let your local police know you are being harrased, believe me they will look into it. Once your little guy is diagnosed that is reason enough for you to have a hang tag, he may still be walking but that doesn't mean you aren't carrying tons of extra equipment, so you need to park closer: end of story. You're right their wrong, and hopefully one day they'll understand.
Comment by Kulwant Pannu on December 6, 2008 at 12:28pm
We already know how insensitive people can be. I know we want to shield our sons from these awful moments but it's not always going to be possible. Chances are that we are all going to face this more than once in our journey down this path, but we've already faced the most challenging part so far. Diagnosis day. Be strong and be prepared for the next time, especially if your son is with you. Other than that don't let someone else's stupidity ruin precious moments of your time that you can utilize somewhere else. Stay strong this is another one of those tests god sends your way to test your strength. Take care and Happy Holidays!
Comment by cheryl cliff on December 6, 2008 at 10:36am
Something similar happened to us. We pulled up to a driveway for the disabled, where you can't park but can let off people and wheelchairs. We began to unload our sons when a stranger came up to unload on us for using the handicapped area. He sternly said "this is for HANDICAPPED PEOPLE ONLY, not families!" We responded by quietly saying "we know", then took out our sons scooter from the back of our car. I'll bet he doesn't try that one again.
Comment by Marian Lamberson on December 6, 2008 at 10:14am
Well God response would have been "mind yer own business" but that's just me.
Let ignorant people live in there ignorance. Your right, lucky the little one wasn't there. If parking between two spots hleps you and your little one...park between two spots.

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