Signs posted for autistic child

April 24, 2008 3:16:38 PM PDT
You may soon be noticing new signs on roads in some local communities. They aren't telling you to stop or buckle up, instead they are telling drivers when there are autistic kids in the neighborhood.If you haven't seen the autistic child street sign before, you can probably expect to pass one soon.

The mostly all in yellow sign reads autistic child area, and to Kim Delvalle those three words mean everything.

Because its a sign made just for her daughter.

"I think it helps people r moe aware theres a kid here with special needs," said Delvalle.

Kim's 11-year-old daughter Jacky is severely autistic. She currently says only a few words and has a difficult time controlling her movements.

"She does stim u know flaps her hands and runs you never know where she is going to run to," adds Delvalle.

But the sign placed slightly before and after the autistic childs home has its share of critics. Some say it flags the individual child by stating in bold letters his or her percieved issues

"They don't have to put a sign that causes kids to feel neglected," says Roseana Haiss.

Town officials say they can't believe there's criticism. They say the signs are personally requested by parents.

Eyewitness News' Emily Smith spoke with the Director of Traffic Safety. "We do not install these without a request. The parent or custodial guardian makes it in writing," said Lyn Weyant.

Kim also admits she worries the sign she requested gives her family a false sense of security instead of an added one.

On Patchogue avenue many drivers don't even obey stop signs especially the one placed just a few feet from where Jacky and her mom wait for the bus every day.