Nicole Duggan is a mom from Cork, Ireland whose 3-year-old son, Riley, has autism. Over the years, Duggan has noticed others treating her and her son rudely because of his differences, yanking their kids away from him on the playground or making comments while they're out in public. Finally, at the start of 2017, this mom had hit her breaking point.
"I have wanted to post it for a long time, and I never did," Duggan said of her epic New Year's Facebook post in which she details some of the frustrations she's felt and demands acceptance for her beloved son. "I never expected it to get around Ireland, let alone get to America," she told ABC News.
In it, she describes her one wish for the new year: make the "judgers" understand her son's differences, and to end the rudeness.
"The small things we take for granted every day are the hardest things for him to cope with... 'Normal things' such as going shopping, playing in a kids play zone, or even a hair cut can be unbearable for him," her post reads in part.
"To the lady that called him bold in the supermarket, try to look at things from his perspective. An overload of colors and sounds. People whizzing past you. You too would cry your eyes out if you could not tell anyone how you are feeling when it all gets too much," she wrote.
"To the people that stare at him because he hums, join in with his little singsong, because in his eyes he is singing the best song in the world. To the mothers that pull their children away from him, you are creating the bullies of the future."
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Duggan later told ABC News, "I am only doing what all parents of kids with autism do, and that is ask for acceptance. I'm just crazy enough to put it online."
Duggan also made it clear that her note is intended for adults, and not other kids who come into contact with Riley.
"Kids never treat him any differently. The innocence is lovely. They love to play and so does he, and that is all they see," Duggan said.
Don't you wish adults could learn from the kindness displayed by their kids? We hope her message is heard loud and clear.
Father (left), son (right)