NewsLocal News


Family's 'Autistic Child Area' signs stolen from Farmington street

Posted at 9:36 PM, May 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-15 23:42:44-04

FARMINGTON, Utah — The family of an autistic boy said they felt “targeted’ after safety signs on their busy street were stolen.

In the walls of their backyard sandbox, Preston and Brittney Clark know their son is safe. Their front road tells a different story.

“He’s in his own little world, he's walking around, playing around,” said Preston Clark. “It doesn’t just come up to his head, ‘Oh, there’s a busy road. I might get hurt.'"

For two years, signs that said “Autistic Child Area” sat on poles on 1100 West in Farmington.

“Daily basis, there’s people just screaming through here,” he said. “I mean we’ve seen an excess of eighty, ninety miles an hour before.”

Last week, the couple realized the signs were stolen.

“This was something really devastating to me, that could risk their very lives, being next to a busy road,” said Brittney Clark. “And now I’m seeing cars go way faster now that the signs are gone.”

Brittney said autistic children are more likely to get hit by a car. According to the American Journal of Public Health, autistic children are also forty times more likely to die from injury.

There are a lot of signs on the little stretch of 1100 West: signs pertaining to bikes on the Legacy Parkway Trail and signs prohibiting parking near the Legacy Event Center. Out of all the signs, the thieves only unbolted the two mentioning autism.

“It felt kind of targeting, in a way,” said Brittney.

This isn’t the first time they’ve noticed disrespect.

“[Teenagers] decided it would be really funny to urinate on the autistic child sign and video themselves doing it,” said Preston.

The City of Farmington already offered to replace the signs.

The Clarks hope the thieves can one day educate themselves about autistic individuals and learn to be more respectful and understanding.

“[The signs] are here for a purpose. They’re here because our child needs someone else to be watching out for him as well,” said Preston.