Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I have heard it all....



We have a disabled placard for our car. I hang it from our rear view mirror. We have had it for over a year now, we use it only when we have K.C. in the car with us. It's for his safety, has helped us tremendously when he's in extreme headbanging meltdown mode to get him to the car quicker. When we first decided to get that placard I had to really think on it for over a month. Seriously, I felt very guilty knowing that K.C. didn't have a physical disability and that we would be taking a spot away from someone who did have a physical disability.

I mentioned this to my Mom (who also has a placard for my brother) and she came by our house the next day. She had just come from the DMV with the form that needed to be completed by the Doctor for the placard. Our next visit I took the form, the Pediatrician filled it out and I took it to DMV. We got our placard.

My Mom said we need the placard. She reminded me of K.C.'s seizures. She said what if we needed to get out of the store quickly because he might have a seizure? We have learned that when K.C. is very quiet and very spacey a seizure isn't far away.

We went to the store yesterday to pick up a prescription, I had both boys with me. As I parked, I noticed a car pull into the spot next to us, in the disabled spot. Big Brother got out of the car first and I walked around to unfasten K.C. As we all walked together to enter the store I heard a mans voice say, "you folks aren't handicapped! Get out of that spot!" I turned and noticed that the person who parked next to us must have actually waited for us to exit to see if we were "handicapped." I stopped with the boys and said, "sir, my son is disabled, we have a placard hanging in our car." I pointed toward the rear view mirror. I looked at Big Brothers face and he looked furious, I knew if we didn't hurry into the store he was going to open his mouth and he wasn't going to say something nice. The whole time K.C. stood there like a good little boy just watching the parking lot. I noticed people started staring a bit at the old man confronting us. The old man said this, "where's his wheelchair!" Then "the mouth" I sometimes call him said, "you dummy, disabled doesn't always mean your legs!" I squeezed Big Brothers hand to let him know to shut it. I started to apologize to the old man for Big Brothers remark (I felt badly because this man was old, very old and there was know way I was going to disrespect him) then, I hear a roarous laugh coming from the old man complete with coughing (Big Brother said, "oh my God Mommy he's gonna die.") I started laughing, I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants. We just kept walking into the store and left the old man there to laugh. I think he was laughing at either being called a "dummy" or he realized how ignorant he was and for realizing a 7 year old was right.

I had a long talk with Big Brother about respecting his elders and have told him numerous times "when the adults are talking he is being quiet." Well sometimes they don't listen, but I can honestly say I was glad he did speak up. Maybe we all learned something about the word "disabled" and what it means to different people.

17 comments:

Melissa H said...

Okay, let me be the first to say: GO BIG BROTHER!!!! :-)
I know that you want to teach him respect, but what an amazing spokesperson he is for autism and special needs, in general. I wish he could talk to all of the "big dummies" in this world.

Ange said...

I'm all for respecting your elders, but I can't stop laughing. Way to go Big Brother!

Niksmom said...

You know, I feel the same guilt about using the placard with Nik sometimes. Others, I don't feel the least bit. Glad brother spoke up...though I suppose it could have been more polite. ;-) But your mom raised a really good point about the seizures, too. I hadn't considered that with Nik. Hmmm...

~Miss Nelson said...

Good for Big Brother for looking out for his brother and speaking up. Sometimes the elderly can be the rudest people around. Who was he to judge why you park where you park?

kyra said...

you know, it's one of those, 'out of the mouths of babes' moments. i say hooray for big brother speaking up! and it seems as though it got through to the old guy!

Mom without a manual said...

I don't know. I guess I have to applaud big brother. Good for him. You guys have every right to be in that spot.

I understand your dilemma but big brother is right...disabled does not always mean your legs!

I agree you need to respect your elders but the old guy wasn't really showing you guys much respect either!

Give big bro a pat on the back for me!

Casdok said...

Well done Big Brother! I have had many such an incident.
It is not easy to get a disabled placard, so if you have one its because you deserve it.

Penny L. Richards said...

My son does use a wheelchair, but we still get comments sometimes. One old guy scolded me because he thought the placard had to mean that the DRIVER was a wheelchair user. (huh?)

The placard space isn't only for folks who need close parking; it's also for folks who need level, wide parking and a smooth approach to the store entrance, for wheels or other reasons. Those "other reasons" can include a lot of situations--so it's really best not to second-guess a legal placard.

Lora said...

Way to go Big Brother!!!!!!!!! I am with Mom without a manual....the old man wasn't showing respect for you guys, he had no right to question whether or not you should be parking there. I use the placard when Griffin is with me (only) and people stare at us but I need it because Griffin is a runner and needs to be close to the entrance of the store and away from all the traffic. Big Brother is a very intelligent young man and he doesn't put up with BS and especially not when it pertains to his little brother, I think that you have done an awesome job raising those boys of yours...I am proud of you guys for setting the record straight!
Love ya, lots of hugs!

gretchen said...

Every story you tell about Big Brother makes me love him more!

And I'm happy to hear that everyone ended up laughing- a pretty happy ending.

JUST A MOM said...

GOODJOB BIG BROTHER!!!!!! OH YEAH GOOD JOB MOM FOR TELLIGN HIM TO RESPECT THE OLD GUY hahhahahahha

~Miss Nelson said...

Please email me when you get a chance. I wanted more information about what you asked me about.

~Miss Nelson said...

Please email me I would like more information on what you asked about. misscnelson@gmail.com

Donetta said...

That is so awesome that you teach respect. It is hard to hold a tong when a comment is made. I remember once a woman staring at me and my daughter looking us over for sometime. She was in a line behind us at the grocery . all of a sudden she blurted out..."oh ! her father must have blond hair..." my reply was "i really do not know" her eyes got so big. Then out of kindness on my part I said she is adopted. People often have very short paths between thoughtlessness and the mouth.

Terri said...

Yay, Big Brother. Younger brother is lucky to have him on his side!

Melinda said...

YEAH FOR BIG BROTHER! haha...sounds like the old timer realized what he said was totally wrong......good ending too!

Ettina said...

I can see how you might need disabled parking for something other than a physical disability. I work with a girl with Rett Syndrome who can walk reasonably well (though awkwardly) and though her walking is good enough that she wouldn't need disabled parking for that reason, she is so hyperactive and doesn't watch where she is going and it would be a big problem to have to herd her across a parking lot, especially if you've got groceries or something.