An Open Letter To The Man Who Said Her Son With Autism 'Ruins Society'

"What you don't realize is Logan deserves to be out in public just as much as anyone else."

Parents know how difficult it can be to take kids on an outing and have everything go seamlessly. But parents of kids with autism often face a whole other set of challenges, as one mom articulated in a now-viral Facebook post. 

In her post, mom Ashley Wright recounts taking her kids Brinlee, 11, and Logan, 13, to the Peterborough Zoo. Her son, Logan, has severe autism, among other diagnoses, and is also 6'1'' and 190 pounds.  Therefore, he sometimes attracts unwanted attention, which is what happened when she took him to a co-ed bathroom. 

She describes the event in her Facebook post. 

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When Logan went into the bathroom with his mother, Wright says she washed her hands — being careful not to use a hand dryer because the noises can bother Logan — and left. After taking a few steps out of the bathroom, she realized something was wrong, and that Logan needed to use the bathroom again, so they headed back. 

There, Wright noticed a man from earlier; he and his family were staring at the Wrights. 

"No big deal right? WRONG. I know you watched us," Wright writes, addressing the man again. "I could see it out of the corner of my eye as Logan tried to grab my hair and when he couldn't he pulled his own ... still very loudly screaming ... 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. I'm trying to protect myself my daughter and my son I don't need another potential person getting hurt."

But then, the man got closer, just about two feet away and yelled: "Why do people bring kids like this out in public? They ruin society."

And that, Wright says, is wrong. 

"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."

Wright adds that that man could've offered his help, even though Wright would've declined. Or he could've simply gone about his business. She also says she hopes this man will, hopefully, never make anyone feel the way he made her family feel. 

Wright's Facebook post, which has since gone viral with over13 thousand shares, ends on a note about how it's important to keep loving your kids and to teach them strength and tolerance. 

We certainly hope that Wright's message helps to remind people to treat everyone with kindness and to better raise awareness for those with autism. You can read her words in full above.  

(H/T: Pop Sugar)

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