We got a handicapped parking tag this summer in anticipation for winter time. Lauren's a runner and I didn't want to chance her running off in icy conditions and cars not being able to stop, if they even saw her. Plus she tends to do the typical Down syndrome drop and flop at the most inopportune times. And carrying a squirmy, low-tone kiddo who's wearing a slippery winter coat while I am also wearing a slippery winter coat is a recipe for disaster.
I've been using it for restaurants and the grocery store lately. Lauren weighs 38lbs and has moderately low tone and places where I can't bring her stroller, like the ones I mentioned above, I end up carrying her because either she doesn't want to walk at all, runs off, or drops/flops and refuses to move.
Holy cow! It has made my life SO. MUCH. EASIER. It's generally a much shorter distance, so she's usually willing to walk it. And if she doesn't want to or refuses, I can actually carry her because I'm not schlepping from the back of the lot.
It's honestly been lifechanging because I really don't go anywhere without her except for work. She comes with me to the grocery store, to Target, to church, to restaurants, to the mall, etc. She loves to go places and I love taking her, and I found our parking lot struggles were making me feel too overwhelmed to leave the house with her.
I was so against it because I didn't want to be seen as someone abusing it, and if I'm honest I didn't want her to be handicapped. But I am so super glad we decided to do it. I am so thankful that it's available to us and it keeps Lauren safe and keeps me sane.