Moncks Corner installs street signs warning drivers of autistic children
The Berkeley Independent - 8/14/2017
Following a story first covered by the Berkeley Independent showing Berkeley County Council members could not move ahead with street signs warning drivers of autistic children - there have been some changes.
Concerns by members brought up at the July 24 meeting included: There are no SCDOT certified signs for autism. At what level of the condition would it warrant a street sign? And considering the slippery slope, what about those with other conditions and challenges? Members were in agreement that there were too many challenges to move ahead.
The concerns were first brought to Berkeley County Council in March 2017 by two parents of autistic children, Melissa Bennett from Foxbank Plantation and Kimberly McFadden from Moss Grove Plantation. They addressed council members to see if they could help with getting a couple of street signs warning drivers there are autistic children in their area.
“I feel like if there were maybe signs for the community to know there is an autistic child out on this road, they might be more inclined to slow down and at least look where they’re going,” McFadden said in a July 27 interview.
Following the Independent’s story about council’s decision, Bennett was not pleased.
“I felt like they just threw us under the bus,” she said. “They are not taking the special needs community into consideration.”
Since then the town of Moncks Corner has taken the reins; town officials have put up the signs.
“I was super excited and felt grateful that the mayor and the town administrator decided to step in and do the right thing.” said McFadden, who now has a sign near her home on Cicadas Song Drive.
“I think it’s going to make a big difference. I actually already posted it to our neighborhood Facebook page and people are happy it was placed there and will be looking out for it,” she said.
Bennett said she as well has a little peace of mind when it comes to her 5-year-old daughter.
“It doesn’t dawn on her that there is a danger,” she said. Bennett recalled an incident when her child got out of the home. “She was literally in the middle of road playing with rocks,” she said.
Both parents agree that the signage will not mean an end to the danger but they are certain the street signs cannot hurt.
“It’s up towards the house and it’s an extra layer of protection and that’s all we wanted,” Bennett said.