LogoLogo
Copyright ©2018 Distractify, Inc. All rights reserved.
Share on Facebook
Random Article
Image

This Mom Was Harassed At The Zoo Because Of Her Autistic Child

This Mom Was Harassed At The Zoo Because Of Her Autistic Child
User Avatar
4 weeks ago

We are always grappling with understanding one another, but some people receive far less compassion than others. People who are neurodivergent, especially on the autism spectrum, process the world differently than the majority of people. Some autistic people are extremely high-functioning and find ways to still do well in a society that prioritizes neurotypical people's experiences. But for some, communication and everyday activities can be very difficult. 

A mother in Canada named Ashley Wright has a 13-year-old son named Logan with autism. She told CBC Radio, "He is on the severe end of the spectrum. He has very limited verbal skills. All four areas of his brain are affected by his autism."

Wright also has an 11-year-old named Brinlee, and the three try to do activities together that Logan can enjoy and participate in, even with those challenges.

On June 10, the three of them went to the Riverview Park and Zoo near their home in Belleville, Ontario. Wright shared a long Facebook post about their experience at the zoo. Logan was having trouble telling his mother that he needed to use the bathroom, and began to make noises that drew attention. Wright says that when these things come up in public, most people usually ignore the little family and let them work it out. But on that day, Wright says a man made the whole situation much, much worse.

She writes:

To the man at the Peterborough Zoo today who loudly yelled well glaring at us "Why do people bring kids like that out in public?" This letter is for you. Will you probably ever see it? No do i think you will actually care even if you did? Probably not. Maybe just maybe someone else will read this though and think twice about making someone feel the way you did today.

The picture attached to this letter. Thats myself and my two children. Brinlee is 11 and Logan is 13. Logan has severe autism, global developmental delay, echolatia, and im leaning towards tourettes as well. Hes big. 6 foot 1 and about 190lbs.

The picture attached to this letter. Thats myself and my two children. Brinlee is 11 and Logan is 13. Logan has severe autism, global developmental delay, echolatia, and im leaning towards tourettes as well. Hes big. 6 foot 1 and about 190lbs.

You walked a head of us as we walked into the zoo. He was being loud. He was flapping his hands. He was jumping. But he was happy.

You kept turning back and staring at us and at first it didn't bother me. We were at Logans favourite place. He had worked hard all week to earn this trip and I honestly just thought you were curious. Then all hell broke lose at the zoo and I realized you weren't curious at all. After the couple hour drive to the zoo and downing lots of water I had to pee. Thankfully like many places now a days Peterborough Zoo has a coed bathroom. Do you know how hard it is when places don't have those? 

All the dads with daughters and moms with sons. Or people supporting people with disabilities. What do we do when they can't go in the opposite sex bathroom? anyways.... he went in with me, i was careful not to use the hand dryer(loud noises can really bother autistic people, Logan is no exception) i washed my hands dried them on my pants and out we went. We walked about ten feet and I knew something was wrong. Logan started grinding his teeth, making a really loud, growly EEEEE sound and started pinching himself. I asked him if he wanted to leave or needed a drink or to use the bathroom. But he was passed being able to answer. Could you imagine?

Knowing you needed water? or had a headache? had to use the bathroom? but not being able to voice it? I held on his arms and the 3 of us walked to the picnic area not far from the bathrooms. I noticed you and your family were stopped and staring at us again. I was getting slightly annoyed at this point but you still werent my concern, my very upset, very stressed out son was. I finally was able to get him to voice PEE and i realized we needed to make our way back to the bathroom. No big deal right? WRONG. I know you watched us. I could see it out of the corner of my eye as Logan tried to grab my hair and when he couldnt he pulled his own well still very loudly screaming EEEEEEEE.

He bit his arm. Yes there were others staring but they glanced away quickly. You started walking closer to us and my brain instantly went into thinking sir please stay away im trying to protect myself my daughter and my son I dont need another potential person getting hurt. You got about two feet away from us and very loudly yelled "WHY DO PEOPLE BRING KIDS LIKE THIS OUT IN PUBLIC? THEY RUIN SOCIETY"

Now, you have your opinion and im sure you think you are valid in what you said. But you are wrong. Logan was being loud, he was probably scary to some people and he was definetly distracting at least you and your family from what I'm sure was supposed to be a fun family outing. What you don't realize is Logan deserves to be out in public just as much as anyone else. 

He doesn't ruin the society. He didn't hurt anyone. We made it to the bathroom unscathed he peed. I turned away and cried because I was relieved it went so well but I also cried because I know there will be days like this. Days where people stare. Days where people are ignorant and hurtful. Days where we thought we too would have a fun family outing and that just wasn't how it started.

Was I asking for your help? Your opinion? Your advice? Nope. But you, a man about 6 foot 3 and easilly 250lbs watched a mom who couldve easily been hurt and scared and made a situation worse. You couldve asked me if I needed help. I wouldve politely declined since like i said the last thing i need is to have to worry about another person in this situation, but you still couldve. Or you couldve done what the majority of people do and look at us, look away and go on about your business. The man who told you to F**K oFF and leave us alone and you made a threatening motion as if you wanted to fight him. 

He came over and asked if we were ok. He told me to keep up the good work. Then he walked away and minded his own business. When we came out of the bathroom, you werent there thankfully. We walked to the camels. They are Logan's favourite and really all he wanted to see. You were there when we got to them. You were watching us but didn't say anything this time. I don't know if you realized you were a real asshat. 

If you were just waiting to see if logan would act out again so you could continue your rant. I have no idea. We left not long after that and went about our day. All I can hope is that in the future if a situation like this happens again you don't make another family feel the way you made ours feel today. I also sincerely hope your children don't grow up feeling that kids like Logan shouldnt be out in public. Because he needs that social interaction. He deserves to get to see his camels after a good week of behaviour. He deserves to be treated just as good as anyone else.

Wright says that she was incredibly grateful to the second man who checked in on them after witnessing the abuse they received from the stranger who told them Logan was "ruining society."

"It showed me that not everybody felt that way," she told CBC. "Because sometimes in that circumstance more people start to stare and you kind of feel like you're on the spot ... Should we just leave the zoo? Maybe we shouldn't be here."

There are lot of people who think that Wright and her kids definitely deserve a day at the zoo, if that's what they want. Her post has been shared more than 13,000 times and has thousands of supportive comments.

Sadly, some have had similar experiences with their autistic children.

Logan deserves to visit the camels, too, as do all kids.

Next Article