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Disability more than skin deep

PARKING PROBLEM: Amanda Eggins is upset at the looks she gets from others when using disabled zones for her autistuc son. Photo: Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
PARKING PROBLEM: Amanda Eggins is upset at the looks she gets from others when using disabled zones for her autistuc son. Photo: Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

FED-UP Grafton mum-of-two Amanda Eggins wants to set the record straight.

She said she shouldn't need to constantly defend herself and her right to use disability parking.

If struggling to raise her severely autistic four-year-old son wasn't hard enough, Mrs Eggins said a recent confrontation outside the hydro pool was the final straw.

"Some people can be particularly mean," she said.

"Even though I have a disability permit sticker, people still stare me down when I'm getting out of the car with my kids.

"They look at me and they can't see what the disability is, so they say, 'You can't park here!'

"It makes me feel awful and sometimes it makes me feel angry.

"I want to say to them - and to everyone - don't be so quick to judge because having a wheelchair isn't the only disability."

Mrs Eggins said several other parents from the My Time disability support group in Junction Hill also regularly encountered this type of confrontation.

"We're all frustrated. We have a permit from the RMS and we have met all the criteria - we shouldn't have to explain ourselves all the time," she said.

"Sometimes having a disability is obvious, sometimes it's not. All I want is for people to stop and realise...before they make a judgement.

"It's the same at shopping centres. Because of his autism, my son gets overwhelmed and I know people are looking at me and wondering why I can't control my kids.

"I've even had people ask me why, after my son was diagnosed with autism, I had another baby."

Need support?

THE My Time Disability Support Group meets every Wednesday at 10am at the Junction Hill Playgroup.

It's free for parents and carers raising children living with a disability - drop in, no bookings needed.

It's somewhere for people to relate and understand what they're going through.

WHERE: Barnier Park, Pine St, Junction Hill

WHEN: Wednesdays, 10am

COST: Free

Topics:  autism grafton



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