Lacey Brandenburg, a mother from Iowa, took to social media in defense of her special needs son on Thursday, saying she received a letter from another parent about her son. In the letter, a mother says that after consulting with her husband, she decided to discourage a friendship between her son and Ashton, Brandenburg’s son, because his mannerisms and hobbies were not a good influence.
“We want our child to play with toys and watch television for his age, not younger or older than him,” a portion of the two-page letter reads. “The hand flapping is a concern. We don’t want our son to learn do to that!” (See letter below).
Ashton has intellectual disabilities, autism, cognitive disorder and ADHD. Apparently, the mother who wrote the letter felt the activities he enjoys, such as playing with toys, were only appropriate for “a younger child.” She felt that her son’s socialization might be affected by sharing in interests with Ashton.
“I know he has a disability,” the letter continued, “but we feel his disability may hold our son’s level of comprehension, life, his communication, socialization, and learning level may be at risk if playing and being around Ashton continues.”
The parent acknowledged that Ashton is well-behaved, but insisted the friendship should end, writing: “Please keep your son away from ours so ours are not picking up the idea that playing with toys or watching cartoons younger than his is OK.”
Brandenburg said she was almost brought to tears by the letter, according to KCCI.
“I was outraged,” Brandenburg told the news staton. “I couldn’t believe somebody would go as far as downing a special needs kid just because he does things a little differently.”
She posted the letter to her Facebook account on Thursday morning, and by Thursday night it was shared over 50,000 times. Brandenburg said she’s received plenty of support, and that she posted the letter to raise awareness about the difficulties raising children with disabilities.
“It was just technically to get it out there that you are your child’s teacher. If you are going to act like that, your child is going to act like that,” Brandenburg said.
“I feel pretty good right now. I don’t think I’m in the wrong for posting it,” Brandenburg said.
Ashton, he said he’s now made new friends, who are kind, funny and accepting.
Note: the Facebook post is no longer available, as it has either been removed or the privacy settings have changed.
An Iowa mom who parents a child with disabilities received a letter from another parent asking their children no… https://t.co/JjC2384gqJ
— Bipolar Awareness (@Stopthestigma) January 5, 2018
Lacey Brandenburg may not want to out these parents but I do. Talk about cruel!!! Some people don’t deserve to be parents! pic.twitter.com/BS5lW1FLOQ
— Magee Miller (@MageeMiller) January 5, 2018