being a mom

Mom Starts Flyer Campaign To Stop Honking Jackasses From Scaring Her Kid

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angry man honking hornA mom in Brooklyn, NY is passing out flyers to honking cars in an effort to stop them from scaring her special needs daughter. Call me a defender of the special snowflake if you must, but people who have no patience for little kids with special needs deserve to be told when they’re being a jerk.

Christine Salerno and her family recently moved to be closer to her three-year-old daughter’s special needs preschool. The transition has gone well, with the exception of honking motorists.

Salerno’s daughter has Rett syndrome and is sensitive to loud noises. Salerno says when drivers get frustrated with the bus and honk, her daughter gets anxiety attacks. The little girl is nonverbal, and she responses to the honking by grabbing onto the bus and refusing to get on.

According to the NY Daily News, Salerno first tried to deal with the issue by giving dirty looks to the honking drivers, which didn’t do anything. She then wrote about her frustrations in a neighborhood blog. After receiving support for her flyer idea from blog comments and Facebook friends, she decided to go ahead with the project.  The flyer reads as follows:

Think before you honk. You will be on your way very shortly and my child will still be handicapped.

You won’t remember later today that you honked at a school bus this morning, but it will stay with me all day.

I admire her style, it’s direct, short and to the point. If this were my idea, I’m sure the flyer would be much snarkier, and not in a good way. Salerno plans to hand these flyers out personally and has said she hopes she doesn’t get punched. Her message is simple and direct, so I don’t really see how any honking idiot could find a way to dispute her point.

I have two neurotypical kids, and I struggle to keep it together when they are upset by something. Having a special needs child creates additional challenges and I can’t imagine dealing with watching your child get upset day after day and not doing something about it. Special needs or not, any jackass who honks at a bus that is loading small children deserves to be told that he’s being a tool. Little kids take longer to do things and being part of society means you have to accommodate others. Salerno’s message is spot on- honking at the bus isn’t going to get you to your destination any faster, so there’s no reason to be a jerk.

I hope passing out these flyers has a meaningful impact on the number of honking motorists in Salerno’s neighborhood. If not, at least she can hold her head up high and know that she’s doing everything she can for her daughter, and she’s doing it with class.