What's Bugging You Mid-Michigan? Lansing Mom Wants A Street Sign For Son With Autism

There's a stop sign, and a street sign, but after two years of calls and meetings, Sarah Luis has not been able to get a sign to alert drivers that her son, who has autism, lives on Lenore Avenue.

"He gets almost tunnel vision and that's all he sees, and he will take off, and at times it's like you have to be quicker than him to, and you have to grab him because he will not know which direction he is going," said Sarah Luis, Dominic's Mother.

Sarah first contacted the city of Lansing in 2011 and was referred to the public service department. She was asked to submit a binder explaining her son dominic's condition. After receiving no response, she called the mayors office and was told to visit with city council. She and her husband attended a meeting and explained the reason for their request

"They blew us so much smoke and made us feel so great that day," said Christopher Luis, Dominic's Father.

But then, more silence. when she called the Public Service Department again, Sarah was told that autism is not recognized as a reason installing a sign in Michigan, according to the state's transportation manual.

"There are no either autistic child, deaf child, blind child or children playing signs in this manual, so there are specific signs that are recognized and others that are not," said Andy Kilpatrick, City of Lansing Transportation Engineer.

But the city says it's not ruling out the Luis family's request for a sign. They are currently evaluating the signage policies in Lansing to see if installing signs to alert drivers of children with autism would cause them to slow down.

"So far the research that we've found shows no consensus on that and no data to support that it would be effective," said Kilpatrick.

But Sarah believes a sign would be effective, so for now, she will keep waiting for a decision from the city and hoping that her street corner will have a new sign soon.

"I'm doing a fight for my son, and basically the city of Lansing is telling me they don't care about my son.," said Sarah.

The City of Lansing told me they should be finished evaluating the sign policy in about six weeks. They say they are going to evaluate all types of signs in the city, and will likely decide if "deaf child," "blind child," and "watch for children" signs can be installed. We'll be following this story and let you know what happens.

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