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Village of Hamburg mother wants 'Child With Autism' sign on her street

Her request was initially denied since the signs are not technically approved by the state.

HAMBURG, N.Y. — Samantha Savage says her six-year-old son Anthony Savage has a lot of talents. 

"He loves building games," she said. "He's insanely intelligent and he is a great problem solver."

But Anthony Savage is also living with autism and his mom says that means he has a strong tendency to bolt. 

"You can't see autism," Samantha Savage said. "A child with autism looks like any other neurotypical child out there. It's just the way they react, the way they behave is different and spontaneous and extremely unpredictable."

That's why they've installed heavy-duty locks on every door and window in their home. Despite their efforts, Samantha Savage fears he'll run into the road and maybe a driver won't see him coming.

Samantha Savage requested the Village of Hamburg put up a "Child With Autism" sign on her street.

She received a letter in response, indicating the signs are not approved by the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT). However, other communities have permitted them, including the Town of Hamburg, which is just around the corner from where the Savage's live. 

2 On Your Side reached out to the DOT twice on Tuesday to get answers about why this type of sign has not been approved. We are still waiting for a response.

"I would like the other families in the community with a child with autism, especially ones with a bolting or flight risk like mine, to step forward and fight for these signs," Samantha Savage said.

So far, she's off to a good start. 

She created a Change.org petition and already has more than 200 signatures.

"I'm hoping that they approve the signs for families that want them in the Village of Hamburg and I'm also hoping that it will encourage other towns and other families to do the same thing in their own community to try and get signs for their own and hopefully move up to the state level the change the laws," Samantha Savage said.

The Mayor of the Village of Hamburg, Thomas Moses, Sr., told 2 On Your Side over the phone that they're trying to see what they can do to accommodate this request.

They've invited Samantha Savage to speak at the next Village Board of Trustees work session to hopefully work something out.

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