Mother's Autistic Child in Area sign defaced, changed to Child With Autism in Garden City

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Austin Sharon is 6 years old, just ditched his training wheels and has autism.

His mom, Maggie Sharon, found herself in the middle of a debate over terminology for Austin's condition - a diagnosis shared with 1 in 59 children in the United States.

"My child has a diagnosis of autism and him, as an individual, he is an autistic child," said Sharon.

Last spring Maggie had signs put up in her Garden City neighborhood because Austin kept running out without any regard for cars. It took two months of finagling and $200. 

"I was looking for straight to the point, the easiest to read for a driver who was quickly moving down the street," she said.

On Monday she drove by the sign to see it changed.

"The wording of the sign had been re-written on the tape to state that there is a "Child With Autism" in the area. 

The language clearly offended someone who took the time to buy matching yellow tape, get a ladder and make it more politically correct.

"I was a little upset because it took away from the effect of the sign," Sharon said.

About 24 hours after that tape went up, Sharon climbed up a ladder and ripped it down. She is hoping that whoever did this, gets the message.

"I just hope that there is not a need to take permanent measures on it," she said.

Maggie says there is a split on what is proper. Whoever didn't like her wording likely doesn't agree that a person should be defined solely on being "autistic."

But Maggie's view is different. 

"Autism is something that currently doesn't have a cure and it is something you never grow out of," she said. "To a lot of people, it is part of who they are. It's not only what they are, but it is part of who they are."

She says one isn't right or wrong - but has a word to whoever did this:

"I get your point," she said, "but please for the safety of my child, leave the sign alone."