"Keep your strange kids away from ours!" Here is the dreadful experience lived by the mother of two autistic children

Shirley Marie Bradby

June 17, 2019


"Keep your strange kids away from ours!" - These were the words spoken to a mother in the United Kingdom, regarding her two autistic children. 

What was she guilty of doing? She had brought her two autistic children to a playground where other children were playing. 

Whoever has children with autism must deal with a high level of ignorance and distrust that still exist regarding this type of disease.

And even if the individuals directly involved are just children, too many people still do not hesitate to make some really cruel comments.

The reaction of this mother and her family is a great teaching moment and from such a sad event a good opportunity to provide more awareness was inadvertently created.


Gemma Ryan is the mother of William (10) and Edward (6) both autistic. William also has attention deficit syndrome and Edward Tourette syndrome. 

The two boys have frequent tics and motor spasms especially in their arms and also, for this reason, they do not pass unnoticed when they are in public.

In August 2016, Gemma, hoping that the city would be mostly uncrowded decided to take her children to a playground, and she would never have thought that she would have such a terrible experience.

But, right from the start, when they entered the playground area, some parents indicated that they wanted her to leave and to remove her "strange kids" to keep them away from their children. 

Some mothers hastened to take their children away as soon as they approached the two brothers to play with them. But the most disturbing episode was that of a man who loudly complained, insulted, and threatened one of the two boys whose only fault was playing with his son.

The man was asked to leave because, fortunately, there were other parents there who supported and helped this mother in such a bad moment. 

In any case, Gemma was inevitably marked by the story, as well as her children, especially the older brother, William, who has begun to realize how some people treat him differently. 

The reaction of his mother Gemma and her husband David, in light of what happened, is unexpected and full of positivity. In fact, they responded to ignorance by organizing an event to inform people about autism without prejudice, called "Spectrum". Nearly 1000 people participated in the Spectrum event between games, superheroes, and a silent disco. 

We hope that their initiative will help more and more people to develop an informed awareness and sensitivity towards this type of disease, to avoid harming - even verbally - autistic children and their families.