The parents of a two-year-old boy born with one hand are urging people to be more accepting of difference after their son said he wanted to hide his arm after a series of upsetting comments.
Little Hunter Beeton’s parents Tony and Megan have shared a video of him asking to hide his arm due to his experiences with others.
“I sort of thought, you know he’ll take no notice of it, he’s two, he’ll wake up tomorrow and he’ll forget about it,” Megan told UTV News.
“But then it was just me and him in the house and I asked him ‘go and get your school bag’ and we’ll go out in the car but he says ‘no Mum, I’ve got no hand’.
“I said ‘you do, come on you get your school bag’, he says ‘no, I want to hide it’. At that stage he started pulling his little sleeve down and says ‘I don’t want anybody to see it, nobody laugh at me’.”
Hunter’s family celebrate his difference and want people to know it's fine to ask questions, but that words and stares can hurt.
“Going out to a restaurant, first thing you’re looking because it happens that much, you see people looking and nudging each other and you catch them out,” Tony explained.
Megan added: “Now I’m feeling like do I need to be two steps behind him to watch out for these people, because he doesn’t know what answer to give them because he doesn’t really know. So that’s what I do not want, that I have to be there all the time or I can’t send him out to play for fear of what’s going to be said to him.”
Hunter is a playful and energetic little boy who loves having fun with his brothers. His parents do not want people to feel sorry for him - just to recognise that it is ok to be different.
Megan said: “Parents tell [your] children to think about how you’re going to make someone feel and I don’t think that would be a bad thing to show the video and show how you would make a wee child feel had you said something nasty to him.”