Marshall County woman wants autistic child awareness signs on roadways

Updated: May. 24, 2018 at 4:30 PM CDT
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MARSHALL COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A Marshall County woman wants to see road signs in neighborhoods warning drivers of where autistic children live. This after she was told by county officials they don't have such signs.

Kari Whisenant is left to wonder if some special needs are given more credence than others. Whisenant often plays with her autistic child outside but a recent outing prompted her to talk to a local delivery truck driver she felt was speeding down the road of her Union Grove home.

"I have a special needs son sitting here and this is his yard. This is his domain, his play area, and she really didn't know what to say," said Whisenant.

Her 7-year-old son, Greyson, is autistic and can sometimes dart into a roadway unannounced.

"He doesn't have the cognitive ability to see that as a threat or even to know to look for cars coming," said Whisenant.

So she went to the county Commission to seek a sign for her road warning an autistic child is present.

Commissioner Bill Stricklend said they have signs for deaf but not autism.

Such signs exist but are not in every part of the United States.

"It just seems a little unfair to me that his disability was less important than children with other disabilities," said Whisenant.

She hopes such signs will become commonplace one day because her goal is to get drivers to slow down where autistic children live.

"If we can make one person aware of a special needs child just to watch out a little bit, that's better than nothing. Anything is better than nothing," said Whisenant.

Stricklend said he is asking the engineering department to take a look and do a survey and have posted speed limits put up in that neighborhood.

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