For any parent, a child’s safety is a huge priority. There’s nothing worse than having to fear for your child’s life…and it’s especially frustrating when your child’s safety is partially in the hands of other people. The idea that your child’s wellbeing could be threatened by the carelessness and negligence of average, everyday people? It’s truly terrifying.
Chris Jaymes, a father of a three-year-old boy named Grayson, is no stranger to that frustration and fear. He is sick and tired of seeing driver after driver disregard the 25 MPH speed limit on his street and zip past his house in Homosassa, Florida. It puts Grayson, who is on the autism spectrum, in danger when he’s playing outside.
“For me to say, ‘Stop. Don’t go any further,’ when he’s going towards the road, he doesn’t get the gist of that,” Jaymes said.
For this reason, Jaymes is advocating for an official sign to become available, one that warns drivers to slow down due to the presence of an autistic child. It would be much like a “deaf/blind child area” sign, but it would be specifically tailored to people with autism.
These kinds of signs actually do exist in some areas, but those were created and approved by individual cities, not entire states.
However, when Jaymes asked Citrus County’s administration for a sign like this, they pointed him elsewhere—either the Department of Transportation or officials at the state level.
“They basically have said there’s no such sign; they have no ability to put a sign up like that,” he said. “It’s just basically passing the buck to somebody else, and not really getting anywhere but the run around.”
This obstacle has not stopped Jaymes, however. He has not only created his own signs but has also written a petition, advocating for the national availability of these signs to any parent who would like them. For now, hopefully his homemade signs cause drivers to be more careful.
Learn more about this story in the video below!
A. Stout received a Bachelor of Arts in Writing through Grand Valley State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015. In addition to being a passionate autism advocate, she is a member of various fandoms, a study abroad alumna, and an animal lover. She dreams of publishing novels and traveling all over the world someday.