Disabled parking bay issue outside school — Scope | Disability forum

Disabled parking bay issue outside school

MrsMwa
MrsMwa Member Posts: 29 Connected
My son who has very complex medical & cognitive needs attends a mainstream school part time. He finishes school 1hour 15minutes earlier than the other children yet day after day when collecting him I find both disabled bays occupied by parents also with blue badges who turn up at least 90mins early to collect their children despite clearly seeing my child is the only child who finishes school early. I nearly broke down in tears today as i could not park because I am told by admin that these parents are turning up sometimes 2 hours early for school pick up. I was fuming but rather than get into it with any of the parents logged my complaint to the admin staff who fully sympathised with me and said they would flag the issue to the head teacher. I sent one of the mums who I know a message later to apologise for not engaging with her earlier as I was angry and tired but that I was livid regarding the ongoing parking issue but thanked her for eventually allowing me to park (she eventually moved her car forward to grant me space with two mins to spare for me to collect my child). She ignored the message which is laughable as I did not need to thank her why is she arriving 2 hours early for a school pick up when only my child finishes early from school (school confirmed they collect much later). *Sigh* . Am I wrong to be annoyed?
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Comments

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,048 Disability Gamechanger
    Until we moved 10 years ago we lived in a cul-de-sac that had a primary school at the end of it, daily we would see parents arrive at around 2p.m so they could park as near the school gates as possible, what made it even worse was the fact that we knew some of them lived on the small estate, parking around schools is a joke, i'm not sure how you solve your problem unless the school can "police" the parking spaces?
    Be kind to newer members
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,228 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2021
    If someone is entitled to use an accessible parking space then they’re entitled. If you don’t like when they use it then it’s time to ask the question and maybe walk a mile in their shoes. No-one randomly turns up early for no reason. 

    Without going into detail I have come across this exact situation. Perfect storm of a parent who realised that other parents could use the space legitimately and who had severe anxiety. That was allied to a child with complex issues who believed their parent was actually outside waiting all day and would have freaked out had they realised they were not. In the morning they were on the other side of the school but after lunch they were on the front side so the parent had to be there. 

    Going to war with the parents of other children with perhaps complex needs is not the solution here. The solution is discussion and understanding and compromise.

    There is a separate discussion to be had about whether the school can make other parking provision available.
  • MrsMwa
    MrsMwa Member Posts: 29 Connected
    The point I am making is it does not matter about entitlement to use the space my child finishes school early for a reason by law they should be in school full time but are not medically fit to do so. If my pick up is earlier i need to be there earlier not of choice but necessity having a blue badge does not mean people can stop being courteous to one another but hey think im on the wrong forum so il move on. 
    Ciao
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,228 Disability Gamechanger
    Your point is absolutely valid but right now what Mayes you think that the other people don’t have equally valid reasons for their actions. 

    The real problem is shortage of spaces not other people. You’re not on the wrong forum but you are approaching the matter in a way which will not get you the solution you seek. Moving to another forum where everyone nods their head and agrees how stupid, inconsiderate and selfish other parents are will temporarily make you feel justified and self-righteous but, again, won’t solve it. 

    You need to decide whether you want people to agree with you or a solution. 
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,358

    Scope community team

    Hello @MrsMwa.
    This sounds like a frustrating situation for all involved. My first thought is that perhaps the school could look at better ways of accommodating all of you? Are there other spaces within which they could allow you (or the other parents) to park? 

    I don't think you're wrong to be annoyed, but if you're unsure why the other parents turn up so early, it could turn out your frustration is perhaps directed at the wrong thing. As mentioned by others, they could have a perfectly valid reason for turning up so early. 
    A slightly different situation, but my daughter attends an activity once a week and the only way for her to attend is if she knows I'm sat outside in the car, waiting. I don't particularly enjoy sitting in a freezing car park for two and half hours every week and to other people it may seem selfish that I'm occupying a parking spot for so long with no real 'need', but to us, it's a necessity.

    We also faced similar challenges juggling the school run after my middle child had surgery some months ago. Despite picking them up early each day, we'd still have to turn up around an hour before to ensure we could access a spot close enough to the school. Unfortunately even then it was hit-and-miss as to whether we'd get anywhere because other parents would face similar challenges and turn up early to ensure they had a space suitable for their needs too. 

    I completely share your frustration, but perhaps the solution here is to take some time to speak with the other parents about why they arrive so early, or even explain your situation. You might find they are equally frustrated. I would also keep on at the school and see what provisions or suggestions they can make.
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  • Teddybear12
    Teddybear12 Community Co-Production Group Posts: 2,040 Pioneering
    Hi @MrsMwa I think you did the right thing in thanking one of the parents who moved their car up to make space for you. It means they will probably do the same again if they can. I know from previous posts that you have several challenges in your life right now and that you are very tired. You can come on the site any time to ask questions, make comments or rant whenever you feel the need to. Fingers crossed your husband gets a job soon. Take care.  
  • Teddybear12
    Teddybear12 Community Co-Production Group Posts: 2,040 Pioneering
    Hi @MrsMwa How are you doing? I hope thing are improving for you. Please post and let me know how you are. Take care.
  • MrsMwa
    MrsMwa Member Posts: 29 Connected
    @mikehughescq
    Thank you for your message. I was in a very very bad place when I last posted and felt hurt by your comment but I am in a better place and I get it even though my child's brain injury and other complex needs feel all consuming I am not the only one having it tough. 
    I actually had both parents explain that they turn up early because they hate driving around and around for parking they actually apologised as they could see I was upset the other day. I am not a rude or confrontational person just a person struggling to navigate this complex life I have been thrust into but I take all points on board… thanks
    merry christmas to u & yours 
  • Libby_Scope
    Libby_Scope Posts: 635

    Scope community team

    MrsMwa said:
    @mikehughescq
    Thank you for your message. I was in a very very bad place when I last posted and felt hurt by your comment but I am in a better place and I get it even though my child's brain injury and other complex needs feel all consuming I am not the only one having it tough. 
    I actually had both parents explain that they turn up early because they hate driving around and around for parking they actually apologised as they could see I was upset the other day. I am not a rude or confrontational person just a person struggling to navigate this complex life I have been thrust into but I take all points on board… thanks
    merry christmas to u & yours 
    Hi @MrsMwa,      

    Thank you for updating us all and I'm glad that you're in a more positive space with things at the moment. We all go through rough patches, and our emotions can fluctuate too, so I understand completely why at that point, you might have felt more frustrated/helpless. 

    I'm really happy for you that you got to speak to the other parents and gain an insight into their experiences too. Sometimes it just takes communication between different people to sort out a solution for the problem/challenge :) have you managed to secure a permanent space outside the school now?

    I understand that when dealing with accessibility it can be frustrating and emotionally draining, but please remember to be kind to yourself, because it sounds like you're doing an amazing job at navigating everything. Merry Christmas to you too and I hope you have a wonderful new year :)    

    Libby  
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  • MrsMwa
    MrsMwa Member Posts: 29 Connected
    Thank you @Adrian_Scope for insight into other examples of why parents may have to park early in disabled bays for pick up drop offs. I had been feeling very overwhelmed of late I have family but its difficult because they do not understand what I am going through and when I do speak out I am often told to be more grateful which is hard because I am the most grateful person but I am human I do not know anyone with a child with HIE or even anyone with a child with a disability for that matter. 
    I took few weeks off work with the kids unpaid it was so worth it my mental state is good i feel positive even though the road ahead feels very unknown. 
    Be patient with my guys I am learning to navigate this life of a carer i came back on here because tbh your the only ones who really “get it”
    @Teddybear12 thanks for the kindness i came back on here because of people like you!
    merry christmas
    take care!
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,358

    Scope community team

    I'm glad to see you back @MrsMwa. Hopefully the other parents will give you more space and be more accommodating now they understand your situation and how difficult their actions have made things for you. 

    It sounds as though the time off with your kids has been very good for you all. Are you off much over Christmas?

    I'm sorry to read your family don't seem to understand what you're going through. It sounds as though you could benefit from a more understanding support network. Would it help you to find groups in your area to maybe connect with other parents in your situation? 
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  • MrsMwa
    MrsMwa Member Posts: 29 Connected
    @Teddybear12 I hope you have been keeping safe & well! How are you?
  • Teddybear12
    Teddybear12 Community Co-Production Group Posts: 2,040 Pioneering
    @MrsMwa I am so glad you have come back to the forum. Having some time off work has given you some time for you to spend time with your children and not to be rushing round as much. We are here to help if we can and just listen if that is what you need. Being a carer is one of the hardest jobs I know I have been there. Have there been  any developments with the school more suitable for your son's needs or is it still a waiting game ? Are you working over Christmas or do you have some time off ?  I am fine thank you, and thank you for your kind words. Any time you need to talk or rant just get in touch. Merry Christmas and may 2022 be kinder to us all. Take care.
  • MrsMwa
    MrsMwa Member Posts: 29 Connected
    Hi @Adrian_Scope
    Time off the kids has been amazing. Finally have baby in a set morning sleep routing which helps so can tend to my eldest who sometimes wakes at night. Honestly been so impressed with how well the kids have adapted to our new routine with my spouse being at a new job also.
    Family well its tough the only disabled people they know of are in passing or on TV. They have all these assumptions about disabled people…e.g maybe if I spoke clearer then my non verbal child would learn to talk or if we exposed our child to busy family gatherings (we have big families) then they would stop being sensitive to loud sounds or not become over stimulated by busy environments. Or if i took my pre-natals my child would not be disabled…i indeed took prenatal meds and pregnancy vitamins throughtout but sometimes life happens right! If you have to explain things ALL of the time it makes you guarded you know. I am
    trying to be less sensitive (work in progress but I try) though and to educate family instead as there are huge segments of society who just do not have a clue about disability let alone me trying to explain the complexities of my child's disability.

    I appreciate you reaching out to show support i hope you and your family have a fab xmas & 2022 is amazing for u!  
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,228 Disability Gamechanger
    MrsMwa said:
    @mikehughescq
    Thank you for your message. I was in a very very bad place when I last posted and felt hurt by your comment but I am in a better place and I get it even though my child's brain injury and other complex needs feel all consuming I am not the only one having it tough. 
    I actually had both parents explain that they turn up early because they hate driving around and around for parking they actually apologised as they could see I was upset the other day. I am not a rude or confrontational person just a person struggling to navigate this complex life I have been thrust into but I take all points on board… thanks
    merry christmas to u & yours 
    Apologies for my total failure to respond until now. I’m struggling to navigate this new version of the site so I miss quite a lot unless I’m very methodical. 

    Thank you for coming back and being understanding. It’s appreciated. Glad things are going a little better. 
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,358

    Scope community team

    I'm really glad your youngest is sleeping better for you @MrsMwa. I know first-hand how difficult a prolonged lack of sleep can make things and always feel more able to tackle the day when I've managed a little more. Fingers crossed it continues.
    MrsMwa said:
    e.g maybe if I spoke clearer then my non verbal child would learn to talk or if we exposed our child to busy family gatherings (we have big families) then they would stop being sensitive to loud sounds or not become over stimulated by busy environments. Or if i took my pre-natals my child would not be disabled
    We've faced very similar comments and not just through family or friends, but also from schools and even some medical professionals. It's difficult. The comments hurt and sometimes you do end up questioning yourself, too. But it sounds like you are doing an amazing job with your children and not only recognising their needs but actively supporting them. Don't lose sight of that. 
    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and fantastic start to 2022.
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