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      Valley mother wants safety features at parks for autistic children

      Maribel Garza said she thinks of her son each time she gets on a swing.

      She said the simple back and forth motion to gain momentum seems like an easy task"but for children with autism swinging is a challenge.

      Garza said, in many parks, there is very limited equipment for children like her son to enjoy.

      "If a child with autism tries to climb on some of this equipment could easily fall, Garza said. They're not going to see that the top of the rim has a ground."

      Garza took our Action 4 News camera on a tour of a park in Rio Grande City.

      She said everything from the slide to the seesaw pose potential dangers for a child with autism.

      But Maribel does have a solution.

      She has been in talks with Rio Grande City, city officials on how they can improve the city parks.

      She said the improvements would make parks safer for children with autism.

      "It's going to be geared towards everybody, Garza said. We were thinking of our kids but we saw the need and saw that all children can enjoy this equipment."

      Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal said the city TMs parks department is only four years old.

      He said when they first started talking about building a new park---making sure they had equipment for kids with special needs was not something that crossed their minds.

      "One thing that falls between the cracks sometimes is these types of details---meaning--what does special population need," Villarreal said.

      But with the help of Maribel and other"they can now build a park that everyone can enjoy.

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