Temper tantrums are an easy way for toddlers to express their anger. Even so, it's
embarrassing when it happens, and most parents will do just about anything to
make it stop—except, maybe, drag them down a busy street by a harness.
When a video
emerged on Twitter recently,
showing a mother in Liverpool, England, dragging her child across the pavement
by (what appears to be) a leash, people went ballistic.
So angry & annoyed by this footage. Not just at the #woman(monster/animal) dragging the #toddler. But also at the passersby who did nothing😡 https://t.co/nyAnbQQVql
captured by an eyewitness—whose Twitter handle states that they are there to educate
and protect children—shows the boy lying motionless to one side while his
mother nonchalantly drags him
down a crowded sidewalk.
The footage also reveals several observers who are walking by and staring in disbelief. Still, no one—not even the videographer—does a thing to stop her. The person who
tweeted the video later released a statement indicating that the
kid seemed fine.
"To be honest," the statement read, "it was people who saw it that seemed worse off."
But some people on
social media did not agree and a number
of them chose to vocalize their fury by venting their frustrations to Echo, a Liverpool news outlet.
expressed anger toward the witnesses for not intervening, others speculated
that perhaps the child wasn't real at all, referring to the boy as a
"dummy." And then there were the true haters: the ones calling the woman a
bad mother for doing that to her son.
boy's mother, who wishes to remain nameless, came forward to set the record
straight. In an interview
the 31-year-old single mom told reporters that she is tired of people judging
her parenting “before they know the situation.”
that her 4-year-old son, who was diagnosed with autism two years ago,
suffers from a severe form of autism and tends to react poorly in large crowds
making me out to be a bad mum—I am not a bad mum," she said. “They
should ask before they judge me. Only two women came up to me, and I said, ‘He
has severe autism.'"
making me out to be a bad mum—I am not a bad mum.
“People don’t understand how hard it is having an autistic child, especially
when they are so strong. He has attacked me before and knocked me off my feet,
but he doesn’t know he is hurting me."
Aside from the
fact that her son has autism, the mom insists that there is nothing else wrong with
him, that he isn't naughty and that he is very loving. But, she adds, "I
have the reins on him because he has no sense of danger."
That being said, were her actions justified?
Autism Speaks' Challenging
Behaviors Tool Kit, it all depends on the child. Parents of children
suffering from autism are encouraged to put together a "crisis plan” to
keep the individual with autism and other family members safe during episodes
of aggression or self-injury.
“I try my best,
and people that know me know that I am a good mum," she said.