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Calls to Action

Mom upset by neighbor's rude letter about her son with autism

April 13, 2016

A Philadelphia mother was infuriated after receiving an anonymous letter from one of her neighbors, asking her to "do something" about her son, Ryan, who is diagnosed with autism, ADHD and pica.

Bonnie Moran is a stay-at-home mom with three sons, two of whom have autism. She was shocked when she found this letter in her mailbox: 

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 it’s the way you raised him or if he is retarded. But the screaming and [carrying] on needs to stop. No one wants to hear him acting like a wild animal it’s utterly nerve wracking, not to mention it's scaring my normal children. By you just standing there talking to him don’t do anything. Besides you look like a moron as he walks all over you. Give him some old fashioned discipline a few times and he will behave. If that child needs fresh air…take him to the park not in out back or out front where other people are coming home from work, have a day off, or just relaxing. No one needs to hear that high pitched voice for hours. Do something about that child! 

One of your neighbors

Moran was outraged, and reached out on Facebook and to Philly Magazine.

“I was so angry,” Moran told Philly Magazine. “I was all red. And then I just sat down and cried for hours. How can somebody be that mean?”

There is a happy ending for the family. After posting about the incident in the community Facebook group Mayfair Uncensored, Moran now has playdates set for her son, and parents have reached out to support her.

"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,” Moran told Philly Magazine.

In an effort to ease the fears of and provide encouragement to all people with individuals with autism in their lives, Autism Speaks has created four support tool kits, each designed specifically for the following groups:

Parents
Siblings
Grandparents
Friends

The purpose of each kit is to help teach family members and friends more about autism and its effects on families, and provide resources and support to enable them to lead happy and successful lives with their loved ones with autism.