To the Man Who Screamed at My Son With Special Needs as He Got on the Bus


To the guy who was late for work,

I get that it’s Monday. We all get that it’s Monday. In fact, everyone most likely has a case of the Mondays, but here’s the deal: If you’re late for work and having a bad morning because of it, that’s all on you. Nobody else. So screaming out of your big truck, “Get that f*cking retard on the bus” and laying on your horn is not going to help you in the slightest. This just shows the world what kind of a person you really are — a person with a small heart and not enough love to give to the world.

I don’t know the situation you’re in that prompted you to scream at my son as he got on the bus, but let me tell you about ours since you felt the need to scream a derogatory name at him. You see, he can’t help being the way he is. Some days we move at turtle speed and some days we don’t. Some days he is cooperative with his bus aide and some days he’s not. He’s but a child, a child who has special needs. He can’t help that the world is magnified 10 times more for him than it is for you. He gets caught up in all five of his senses some days, which distracts him. But you sounding your horn and screaming at him won’t make him move any faster. And it’s only going to anger me.

I don’t want to think the worst of you. I truly hoped you were late for work and frustrated about being behind a bus, and in the heat of that frustration, you said the wrong things. But then you drove past me and flipped me the middle finger. So all those possible hopes I might’ve had for you to be a decent person were lost.

I hope you never have to experience the heartache most of us special needs parents have to deal with sometimes on a daily basis. I hope that level of ignorance and cold-hearted, mean-spirited behavior never enters your world. I hope in time you realize that acting so disrespectfully will get you nowhere. That people will see you for who you really are — an ignorant, close-minded person.

As for my son, the bus is his favorite part of his day, and I’m not going to let people like you ruin that for him. There are so many little joys he has, and the bus is one of them. With everything he has going on in his life, he doesn’t need another person who doesn’t understand and makes his life worse.

Respectfully,

The advocate of a little boy who deserves to respected as a human being

Follow this journey on Andrea’s personal blog.

Spread the Word to End the Word! You can head here to pledge to stop using the R-word. It’s a step toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Other

Mental Health Advocates Outraged Over ‘Psych Ward’ Halloween Costume

A Halloween costume was recently pulled from costume stores in North Carolina after an outcry from local mental health advocates who claimed it perpetuated dangerous mental health stigma. The costume, a blood-splattered hospital uniform with the words, “Dorothea Dix Psych Ward” written across the front, was being sold at two Halloween Valley locations, according to [...]

Tot With Down Syndrome Goes From Orphanage to Modeling For Target

Kayella Aschoff is the new face of up & up Training Pants, on shelves in Target stores. Courtesy Jodi Aschoff The 4-year-old, who lives in Minnesota with her parents, Ted and Jodi Aschoff, has Down syndrome and was adopted from Colombia in 2011. Courtesy Jodi Aschoff The Aschoffs didn’t originally plan to adopt a child with special [...]

How Something I Thought I’d Never Do Is Helping Me Manage My Mental Illness

As a young woman attending a local state univesity, taking this fall semester off was the right decision for me. This decision came to fruition because I was recently diagnosed with schizophrenia. When I say recently I mean within the last month, although I’ve been living with it for three years. A lot of people [...]

The 2 Words I Don’t Use When I Talk About My ALS

I recently spoke to a few people with ALS who all said, “I’m dying,” at some point during our conversation. I understood. They were recently diagnosed, trying to make sense of a sudden, terrible loss of control over their lives, their futures. To say “I’m dying” can be a way to acknowledge what is happening, [...]