Park Street mum asks: ‘Why are people persecuting me for using disabled parking space for my mobility-impaired toddler?’

The disabled parking space at How Wood shops

The disabled parking space at How Wood shops - Credit: Archant

The mother of a disabled toddler is fed up with ‘ignorant’ passersby questioning her use of a disabled parking space because her child is not wheelchair-bound.

After being confronted by elderly men while shopping, the upset mum of Park Street, who does not want to be named, contacted the Herts Advertiser to pass on a clear message.

As her daughter has severe hypermobility syndrome and is unable to walk very far or for long periods, the mum has been issued with a blue badge.

The woman said: “I have to hold her hand as she is unstable. My daughter is at risk of dislocating her joints and she falls when she is tired, particularly at the moment when she is having growth spurts.”

But when she parks close to the Penn Road shopping parade in How Wood, people who have not bothered to check whether she has the badge have been quick to scorn her.

The mother explained: “I have a three year old disabled child and twice now I have been confronted by elderly men at my local shops for wrongly parking in the disabled bay, despite clearly displaying her blue badge.

“When I responded to their accusation explaining my daughter’s condition they walked off without any word of an apology.

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“It has been a very long and emotional journey getting a diagnosis for a child with special needs and it would be appreciated if people could be educated that blue badges are not just for the elderly and that children may need them too.”

She went on: “I cannot carry her because she is getting bigger. I need to park near things because she cannot walk any distance. I know it’s very deceptive – it’s infuriating as they are looking at her and thinking ‘there is nothing wrong with her’ or me.

“But they don’t live my life, and don’t know the struggle.”

However when the mum explains the situation to those criticising her, she has been left staggered by the inadequate response.

The villager said: “At the very least people should apologise if they make false accusations.

“I was brought up with manners and on both occasions I have been brought to tears - old age is no excuse for ignorance. I would appreciate it if the residents of St Albans and in particular those who live near the How Wood shops would check for the blue badge first and speak afterwards.”

The mum added: “I would like to raise awareness - before they start accusing people - that not everyone who is disabled is in a wheelchair.”