As Bonnie Moran scooped up her mail a few days back, she said she found a handwritten note — the anonymous kind, apparently from one of her Philadelphia neighbors.
The note was about Moran's youngest son Ryan.
The letter writer didn't refer to Ryan by name but did call him a "brat" and went on to complain about the noise he makes outside, "screaming his head off as he flaps his hands like a bird."
The neighbor also wondered if Ryan is "retarded" while noting his behavior is "scaring my normal children."
As it turns out, Ryan has autism — and his mother is none too pleased about the sentiments in the anonymous note.
"I was mad, angry, beyond angry," Moran told WPVI-TV.
You can see a photo of the letter here. But this is how it reads:
To the parent of the small child at this house
The weather is getting nicer and like normal people I open my windows for fresh air. NOT to hear some BRAT screaming his head off as he flaps his hands like a bird. I don't care if it's the way you raised him or if he is retarded. But the screaming and the carrying on needs to stop. No one wants to hear him acting like a wild animal. It's utterly nerve wracking, not to mention it's scaring my normal children. By you just standing there talking to him don't do anything. Besides you look like a moron as he walks all over you. Give him some old fashioned discipline a few times and he will behave. If that child needs fresh air...take him to the park not in out back or out front where other people are coming home from work, have a day off, or just relaxing. No one needs to hear that high pitched voice for hours. Do something about that child!
One of your neighbors
Moran told WPVI this was the first time anyone took issue with Ryan's behavior.
"He doesn't comprehend like you or me, he gets overwhelmed very easily," she told the station, adding that Ryan also has ADHD.
Some of Moran's neighbors also were taken aback by the complaints.
"Whatever they said in the letter, I don't see that at all," neighbor Danielle McMahan told WPVI. "I see him as being a regular kid."
Tracy Berry couldn't agree more: "I can't imagine it being anyone on this block, to be honest — maybe someone she shares the driveway with, but this core group, not at all, nobody would do that."
While Moran indicated she's unaware of who penned the letter, she initially let others know about it via Facebook in order to raise awareness about autism.
Her message to the anonymous individual? "Get educated before you judge," she told WPVI.
If there was any consolation for Moran and her son, after news hit about the letter, the station reported that Ryan got a number of invites for play dates.