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Australian mother’s emotional plea for parents to respect children with disabilities

Mum Jen Kyriacou said the reactions of some children and parents to her daughter Lucy are tough to take. JEN KYRIACOU/FACEBOOK

Australian mother’s emotional plea for parents to respect children with disabilities

An Australian mother has touched hearts around the world with her emotional plea for others to show greater respect to children with disabilities.

Australian mother’s emotional plea for parents to respect children with disabilities

Jen Kyriacou is just like any mum.

She cares deeply for her children and she wants the best for them.

But after a week-long holiday seeing her daughter Lucy ignored, excluded and treated differently, the Australian mother has had the final straw.

The Queensland mum issued a heartfelt plea for other parents to show greater respect for children with disabilities, and to show a better example to their own kids.

Already shared nearly 50,000 times, it’s struck a chord with parents around the world.

Among the many issues she raises, Kyriacou says she saved her daughter from a seizure in the resort pool while 15 onlookers failed to offer any help.

Lucy suffers from Angelman Syndrome, which can make social interactions challenging for her.

But her mum has had enough of the way her daughter is seen and treated by others.

So now, Kyriacou is encouraging other parents to interact rather than ignore, or to offer a helping hand rather than walk away.

“If your child is staring, take the lead. Say hello. She may say hello or she may ignore you, but you’ve shown your kids what to do,” she implores in her post.

“Lucy sees and she hears everything. I hear it and I see it.

“I have the world’s best poker face but the family sees it all.

“If your child is being rude and running away, laughing, pointing, staring with an ugly face, intervene and quietly pull them away and tell them that’s rude. You’d do it if they did it to a neurotypical kid! Don’t run away from this opportunity to show them the right way to interact.

“Imagine if that was your child that you saw ignored and run away from over and over again. You would want it to change for her in some way,” she says.

In an interview with ABC, Kyriacou said her daughter is “awesome, very sociable and headstrong”.

It breaks her heart to see her excluded and ignored.

“The reactions we get from kids and parents to Lucy is tough to take, generally families don’t know how to react or interact with her.

“It’s hard to watch her be ignored and kids running away from her and this is an ongoing issue that parents with kids with disabilities face all the time,” she told ABC.

Read Kyriacou’s post in full below:



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