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Lincoln mother advocating for free handicap parking permits for people with autism

Cris and Max Petersen are looking to get a bill passed allowing people with autism to get free handicap parking permits
Cris and Max Petersen are looking to get a bill passed allowing people with autism to get free handicap parking permits(KOLNKGIN)
Published: Jan. 3, 2020 at 6:05 PM CST
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A Lincoln mother is reaching out to Sen. Kate Bolz to create a bill allowing people with autism to have free handicap parking.

Current Nebraska law only gives free handicap parking permits to people with physical and visual impairments, respiratory issues, certain cardiac conditions and people who have lost a limb.

What the bill would change is including those who: 'Have been diagnosed with a mental or developmental amentia or delay that impairs judgment including, but not limited to, an autism spectrum disorder'.

Cris Peterson's son, Max, is five years old and was diagnosed with autism in 2018.

"That was really kind of a hard time for us because you don't want to see your child struggle and you don't want to see them be disadvantaged," Petersen said.

When she was looking for resources, she wasn't able to find any accommodating to her.

She decided to take action and create a website called SassyMamaforAutism.com.

This shows people certain accommodations for people with disabilities including parking permits, airline information and therapy sources.

"It just shows us our commitment and dedication to his therapies is effective and it's working and it shares our story with parents who have similar struggles," Petersen said.

Petersen also created social media pages tracking Max's progress through therapy.

Social media impact led her to reach out to state legislators hoping to make changes.

She reached out to Sen. Bolz hoping to get free handicap parking permits for people with autism.

Petersen said, "My mission in all of this is to make a more inclusive accepting and educating environment."

Sen. Bolz does have a draft of the bill, but does not know if it will make it to the legislature this upcoming session.

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