Ashley Wright, a mom of two, just wanted to have a nice day at the zoo with her kids, Logan and Brinlee, but it was marred by a man yelling some truly hurtful words at them. What did he say, exactly? “WHY DO PEOPLE BRING KIDS LIKE THIS OUT IN PUBLIC? THEY RUIN SOCIETY.”
Yep, he said that. You see, 13-year-old Logan has severe autism, and while his mom was struggling to get him to the washroom, this man decided to yell those awful words at her. It brings angry tears to our eyes just thinking about what he said and how messed up it is that someone thinks it’s OK to say this about any child.
10 things NOT to say to the parents of a kid with autismAshley shared an open letter to the man on Facebook that explained how, after a week of good behaviour, she decided to treat the kids with a trip to the zoo, Logan’s favourite place. It had been a long drive to get there, and Logan was having a hard time expressing that he needed to go pee. Because of this, he got overwhelmed and started pulling at his hair and biting his arm. That’s when the stranger shouted his intolerant words.
Sure, someone who hasn’t been exposed to people with autism might not know what to think when witnessing this kind of incident, and Ashley acknowledges the fact that people’s stares and curiosity are nothing new to her. However, this man saw her struggling with Logan (who is over six feet tall and weighs almost 200 pounds), and instead of offering to help, he chose to make the situation even worse. Seriously not cool.
You can read her letter in full below:
To the man at the Peterborough Zoo today who loudly yelled well glaring at us "Why do people bring kids like that out in…
We totally feel for Ashley and think she’s an awesome mom for being able to get a handle on the situation without things escalating. Having kids with special needs can be challenging, and this strong woman is doing the best she can. So keep your head up, mamma. You and your family have every right to go to the zoo, to exist in any public space.
There may be some ignorant people in this world, but there are also many compassionate folks too (shout out to the other man who checked on Ashley and told the first guy to shove off—a great example of basic human decency).
Stay in touch
Subscribe to Today's Parent's daily newsletter for our best parenting news, tips, essays and recipes.