American mother Alice-Ann Meyer has written a thoughtful blog post in response to hurtful comments directed at her two-year-old son, who has a genetic disorder.
Ms Meyer decided to speak up moving to a new town, where her son Jameson faced increased prejudice from strangers.
“Last weekend, in the grocery store with my two boys, a mother and her son are walking down the aisle towards us. I see the little boy look up; I smile at him. He starts to laugh, and tells his mom, ‘Look mom, that baby looks funny’, laughing. I look at his mother and she cannot even muster a word, her jaw hanging open.”
Jameson suffers from Pfeiffer Syndrome, a genetic disorder which causes the premature fusing of skull bones and can lead to developmental problems like sight and hearing loss.
Ms Meyer implored her fellow parents to raise their children to be more thoughtful and considerate.
“If you are the parent whose child says another child looks funny or scary, don’t simply say, ‘That isn’t a nice thing to say’,” Ms Meyer wrote.
Her post has since gone viral after being shared on Facebook more than 40,000 times.
While Ms Meyer said she didn’t blame young kids for being scared or interested by her sons appearance, she said the onus lay on their parents to educate them about disability and difference.
“If your child is curious and doesn’t say anything mean but still notices he looks different; please, introduce yourself to us, ask us our names! Include my child in your world. I promise you, he’s not scary, he’s just a little boy,” Ms Meyer said.
Ms Meyer also thanked the parents and children who have treated her son with respect and kindness: “I can honestly tell you I can remember vividly each encounter where a stranger has made a conscious effort to want to know Jameson … And I can bet he does too.”