Mother left horrified after woman on bus snaps at her son with Down syndrome and tells him to 'shut up'
Mother-of-four, Angie Theakston was left baffled at a passenger's reaction to her son's curiosity upon riding a bus. Angie's youngest son, Joey, who has Down syndrome was asked to shut up by a co-passenger when she was agitated by the child's excitement who clearly couldn't help but proclaim his joy loudly to his mother. The 43-year-old was left mortified when the passenger behaved rudely with her four-year-old son and took to social media to share the experience.
The mum-of-four from Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, said her son had been excited to go on a bus ride after they’d been out for the day on Saturday.
She told The Sun, "It’s something that will stay with me forever. Thankfully he’s at that age where he’s not bothered which I’m thankful for. It hurt me more than it hurt him. He was really excited in the bus station, he just wanted to get on any bus. When it arrived and we were in the queue he couldn’t wait to get on. He was babbling away and he wasn’t being naughty but was just being a bit loud because of the excitement. This woman turned round, looked at him and said 'shut up'. She looked at me and said: ‘I’m not his mum so he might listen to me’. I felt really uncomfortable.”
This was the first time, Angie was spoken to rudely about her son and the mother felt absolutely hapless in the situation. She also stated that the lady kind of snapped at her son when he playfully tried to touch the bob on her hat.
"He reached forward and touched it and she jumped up, then she said to the woman in front: ‘Is he Down syndrome? I couldn’t deal with that’. I was gobsmacked. I could see the lady she said it to was also mortified. This is the first time I’ve had someone talk about him right in front of me like that and that really hurt. I didn’t want to point the finger or name this particular lady but I wanted to raise awareness and ask people to be mindful of what they say."
Angie, who is already the mother of three daughters, Holly, 15, Emily, 24, and Beth, 21, and is separated from Joey’s dad Stuart Huntley, 36, had set up a social media page when Joey was born to raise awareness of Down syndrome and show other parents what to expect and how they can completely have a beautiful life with their children.
Angie mentioned, “I didn’t want to point the finger or name this particular lady but I wanted to raise awareness and ask people to be mindful of what they say. I also wanted to say my son has got Down syndrome but he is not Down syndrome. It’s a condition it does not define who he is."
Joey has also modeled for the Early Learning Centre having signed up with Zebedee Management, and Angie explained, "Joey is an amazing, happy little boy. He keeps me on my toes. He loves everything, he loves playing with his toys and going out on a little adventure. He’s in a mainstream school and does really well. Everyone who knows him adores him. He’s an absolute joy.”
The mother-of-four hopes that by sharing her story people will become pay attention to what they say to those with Down syndrome.