One mom’s New Year’s resolution has been far more successful than she planned.
“I never expected it to get around Ireland, let alone get to America,” Nicole Duggan told ABC News.
The Cork, Ireland, mom’s Facebook post is being shared around the world. Her son, Riley, is 3 years old and has autism.
“I have wanted to post it for a long time, and I never did,” Duggan said. “But I just decided that now was the time and 2017 was the year we would make a difference and try to spread awareness.”
The post is intended for parents, not children.
“I always find it is the parents that have a problem,” she said. “We have been in situations where parents have pulled their child away from Riley in playgrounds and it is so hurtful for me. But thankfully, Riley doesn’t notice as such.”
“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.
Her post reads in part: “My little boy is just like your child, he loves to dance, he loves to be cuddled, he cries when he falls, and he adores Mickey Mouse. He is however ‘wired differently.'”
“The small things we take for granted every day are the hardest things for him to cope with. Different lights, sounds, smells or even the look of something can cause an overload that is too hard for an adult to deal with, let alone my little boy. ‘Normal things’ such as going shopping, playing in a kids play zone, or even a hair cut can be unbearable for him,” the Facebook post continues.
“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 bullys [sic] of the future,” she said in the post.
She 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.”