Bonnie Moran couldn’t believe it. One day the 32-year-old mother from Mayfair, Philadelphia, went to check the mail. Among the bills and junk, she noticed a handwritten note to her from a neighbor.
The letter was about her 3-year-old son Ryan who has autism, pica, and ADHD. In 2016, she shared the horrifically cruel letter on Facebook.
“To the parent of the small child at this house,
The weather is getting nicer and like normal people I open my windows for fresh air. NOT to hear some BRAT screaming his head off as he flaps his hands like a bird. I don’t care if its the way you raised him or if he is retarded. But the screaming and carring[sic] on needs to stop. No one wants to hear him act like a wild animal it’s utterly nerve wracking, not to mention its scaring my Normal children….”
The mother immediately began to cry. This person referred to her son as a “wild animal,” as someone who was “abnormal,” as a “retard,” all because he had a disability.
“I was so angry,” says Moran. “I was all red. And then I just sat down and cried for hours. How can somebody be that mean?”
Moran was even more frustrated because the neighbor could have just spoken to her about Ryan’s behavior. She knows that his behavior isn’t always appropriate, but he is a child.
“The stares really eat me up,” she says. “He can see you. He can hear your comments. He’s not deaf. He knows what you’re saying. He knows you are pointing at him. That’s not cool. He’s not stupid. He’s a little human.”
However something extraordinary came out of the cruel letter. Parents from the community have come forward to defend and support Moran.
“I’ve got so many playdates lined up for him now,” she said. “I was approached by parents in the area who have children with disabilities, and they all understand. I used to feel so alone before this. It’s great to know you’re not the only one out there. Turns out that people on my block are going through similar things.”
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