Krewe of Muses Inspires After Autistic Girl Bullied

11-year-old Emily Mueller loves the Krewe of Muses and the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans and had been counting down the days to see them. But last week, as she waited with her mother, Amy Mueller, on the sidewalk, a group of teenagers or young adults, wielding cups of beer and cigarettes, got in front of them and cruelly ridiculed Emily, who is high-functioning autistic.

As Mueller wrote on her blog, someone spilled beer on Emily and her daughter’s hair was nearly set on fire by a cigarette. But the worst happened when one of the young men saw a patch on Emily’s coat that indicates she is autistic, so medical personnel can know this. The man referred to Emily with the r-word — right in front of her — and said that she was “making watching the parade a challenge.” Emily understood what was being said to her and, as Mueller painfully writes,

A night she had been looking forward to, planning and anticipating for a few months, had just been marred by that bad behavior of a grown person.

“Mama. please, can we go home? He told everyone I’m a retard. I’m not a retard, am I, Mama?” she asked. The grin was gone, replaced by a quivering lip. The sparkle in her eyes had dispersed, and they were now filled with a flow of tears falling down her full, pink cheeks.

The two left the parade and went home, where Emily declared “I don’t think I want to do Mardi Gras anymore. Not ever again.”

After Mueller wrote about what had happened, word spread quickly about Emily’s terrible mistreatment. The Krewe of Muses themselves heard about Emily and invited her to their float den. On Friday, Emily got a close-up of the floats for an “experience she will never forget.”

As Kathleen Parke, a member of Muses, told WWLTV,

“I thought it was important for people to remember the power of our words, that we have the power to hurt and we have the power to heal. And if one person makes a stupid mistake and hurts, than the rest of us need to show that we have the power to heal, too.”

Mueller expressed her deep thanks, saying that “This is something that my little girl is going to remember for the rest of her life and it’s something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life, too.”

Many thanks to the Krewe of Muses for turning a cruel and vicious attack on a young woman into a story about healing, kindness and caring.

Related Care2 Coverage

Arizona Removes “Retardation,” “Crippled” From Statues

Broadway Offering Two More Autism-Friendly Shows

UK Court: Ban on Sex For Autistic Woman With Intellectual Disabilities

Photo by dsb nola


Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado4 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Robyn Brice
Robyn Vorsa6 years ago

People can be so rotten, I am glad that Krewe of Muses found out and did something nice for that poor girl and her mother.

Jay Williamson
Jay w6 years ago

how can people be so cruel? this breaks my heart that emily and her mother had to go through this.

Emily doll you are not a retard the retards are the ones who did this to you. You are a special girl with many special attributes.

Beth M.
Beth M6 years ago

As usual, lesser life forms choose to pick on good, worthwhile people. They will do this to the wrong person someday and will will be rewarded in kind. Karma always repays. Please know, Emily, that there are many more good people in this world who will protect and encourage you.

Sandy Erickson
Sandy Erickson6 years ago

Is this what we are teaching in the schools or it from parents just letting their children raise themselves?

Lori E.
Lori E6 years ago

What ignorant people. I'm glad the Krewe of Muses heard what happened and tried to make it up to the girl. People have no idea how much pain words can cause.

Dresia V.
Dresia Vaughn6 years ago

Part two:

Those people who mistreated your daughter are the people who are retarded; they are the ones with the disability and need professional help. I will die, protecting and defending helpless animals, little children and elderly people and especially, people with a disability. Don’t mess with my group because they will be calling the police on me and I’m serious about this too. Retards like those idiots who mistreated your daughter need to know this, which could be them one day! All it takes is a freakish accident or something that will cause them to become dependent for the rest of their foolish lives. Don’t be so quick to mock, and stare with an ugly face and laugh or tease people with autisms. Mock my word; you will reap what you sow if you’re not careful. People with autism deserve love and respect. After all, they are the innocent ones in this world and God loves them too, just like I do.

Dresia V.
Dresia Vaughn6 years ago

Part one:

Ok, let me say this, first of all, Amy and Emily, I’m so sorry, for the rude, ignorant, mean spirited ass holes that treated you and your daughter that way while trying to enjoy the Mardi Grass festivity like everyone else. I have a sister who is also autistic and I go on vacation with her every summer for a week and help out with a group of adults like her. I pisses me the f*ck off, when grown men and women look at them funny, laugh at them, talk about them and they don’t think they notice it? This has happened a couple of times on our field trips to the beach and malls. I can see children being curious, because the parents don’t teach them, there are special people in the world that need special care, but they are human too, and have feelings and emotions, they feel pain and happiness JUST LIKE THE ASSHOLES DO THAT MOCK AND LAUGH AND MISTREAT THEM.

Diane F.
Diane F6 years ago

Amy M. Thank you for clarifying Emily's patch. I'm guilty of not thinking the obvious (duh) that anything else may be irritating to her. The patch, itself, sounds really decorative, pretty and perfect for a sweet girl.