The mother of a boy with cystic fibrosis and cerebral palsy was shocked to received a judgmental note when she returned to her car after lunch.
Siobhan Quigley drove with her family to Dublin on Sept. 26 so that her and her husband's 3-year-old son, Robert, could see an occupational therapist, Irish Mirror reports. On the way, the family stopped at a coffee shop for lunch, where they parked in a handicapped parking space with a disability badge clearly displayed.
When they returned to the car, they found a note on their windshield that said,
"Having a child does not entitle you to use a disabled parking bay," the note reads. "Consider those less able. I have photographed the disabled badge and reporting your fraudulent use of same to Garda."
Quigley said that her husband first saw the note and scrunched it up to throw it away after reading it, but she insisted he let her read it.
"So I got the note and I read it and I'm just so shocked," she told the Ryan Tubridy show on RTE Radio One.
The family approached a parking attendant to ask about the note and he told them not to worry.
"It's not just adults who have disabilities," she said. "It's not just drivers. Children have disabilities too. You know, they're not always obvious, but they're there."
Quigley said that her family "felt attacked" by the note and that the intent of the message was "really hurtful."
"We felt judged," she added. "We felt Robert had been judged. That's not a nice feeling. He's a little boy. Maybe the person might hear this and see the other side of the story and might think twice in the future."