Parents of children with disabilities know the pain that comes with getting dirty looks when their children are loud in public.
The fact is that many children on the autism spectrum or with other special needs may not have the ability to control their volume while trying to express themselves. This can manifest through fits, but it can also be a sign of happiness.
Shawna Lynn’s daughter has autism and an intellectual disability, and she loves to swim. She also makes loud noises when she’s very happy and flaps her arms. Unfortunately, one awful woman decided to yell at the girl, cutting short their swimming trip entirely.
The family was visiting Range Pond State Park in Poland, Maine, when the woman pictured below allegedly screamed “shut the fuck up” at the eight-year-old girl.
Mom stuck up for her daughter, filming the woman who then denied cursing at the child but did admit to telling her to “shut up.”
At one point, the woman snarkily says, “I’m sorry you’re upset about your special needs kid.”
Shawna Lynn posted the entire incident on Facebook, connecting to thousands of others who have experienced similarly cruel people interacting with their kids. Here’s her full post.
So my experience at Range Pond today in Poland will be my last one there. I’m only sad because it’s Natalie’s favorite place to swim since we started going last summer. As all of my friends know Natalie (my 8 year old kiddo) has Autism as well as intellectual disability. We when she is EXTREMELY HAPPY she makes very loud happy sounds and flaps her hands excitedly. It’s actually pretty normal for kids on the spectrum.
So Nat, her father and the new rugrat head over to Range Pond in Poland and Nat wastes no time and jumps in the water and starts in with her loud happy noises and she’s going on for 10 min. This lady is in the water with Nat and she looks at my daughter and screams “shut the fuck up” so loud it echoed across the pond and literally every parent in the vicinity heard it and looked right at her.
Of course I’m super angry and confront her on video. The first part I thought was recording but I only got a couple pics of her. When I went to the pond ranger on duty after I confronted her she actually came over and said “I’m sorry you’re upset about your special needs kid.” Right in front of the Pond ranger! At this point I had enough! I felt like my there was no reason for my 8 yr old daughter to be accosted by this grown woman whether she has special needs or not.
We grabbed our stuff and headed for the car when this woman pulled out her phone and made nasty comments about our parenting because our daughter was too loud at a public beach. The pond ranger spoke to her several times about what she was saying to my child and to us, and he told her she was being completely inappropriate. We were there less than 45 min. I wasted money for my child to be screamed at by a miserable grown woman.
I hope everyone shares this or at least reads this. And I hope this lady realizes one day you can’t just go around telling other people’s kids to “shut the fuck up” when they are happy at the beach. Just so you know I will always stick up for my child. I will put you on blast if you disrespect my little girl.