PLEASE treat my disabled son like the human being he is.

That is the powerful message from the mother of a severely ill three-year-old boy who is desperate for her son to be treated with dignity and respect.

Marnie Greenland-Jones, from Basingstoke, said she was left in tears last week after a bus driver mocked her son Elliot’s wheelchair.

“As we were getting on the bus, we kindly explained that we needed to be placed in the wheelchair bay as Elliot needs to be watched constantly and caries lots of medical equipment.

“Usually this is a piece of cake and we encounter no issues however the driver glared at Elliot and laughed and said, ‘That’s not a wheelchair!’” Marnie said.

The 23-year-old full-time carer said she felt as though the bus driver looked at her son with disgust and it “broke my heart”.

Now the mother-of-one says she wants transport drivers and the public in general to be more accepting of children with disabilities.

There are an estimated 800,000 disabled children in the UK and statistics show, these children are more likely to be subjected to discrimination than others of the same age.

Into adulthood, one in three disabled people feel they encounter prejudice while worryingly, one third of the British public hold the view that disabled people as being ‘less productive’.

A spokesman for Responsible Citizen said prejudice against disabled people is because they ‘don’t understand disability’.

He said: “There are people who will be prejudiced towards disabled people for no other reason that they don’t understand disability and struggle to comprehend that the world is full of many different people.

“Carers and disabled people may also have to contend with a form of pity, often misplaced, which may masquerade as concern but can often be as prejudiced as outright discrimination.”

Marnie said: “It can be utterly heart-breaking. It makes me feel sick the way people look at my son. He is a happy little boy and the way he is treated sometimes is almost like he shouldn’t be on this planet.

“It is shocking because it’s 2019. We are a far more inclusive society than ever before. We accept gender fluidity, people of all backgrounds which is totally right and yet it feels like people with disabilities are still treated as poorly as before and are forgotten and overlooked.”

“My son is human at the end of the day. His life-expectancy is short. We are in and out of hospital all the time. It’s a huge emotional strain on us all, sometimes I don’t even want to leave the house because I’m worried about what people will say or do.”

Speaking of her experience with Elliot, Marnie said it can be equally as frustrating when strangers want to know her son’s medical history. “Sometimes I don’t want to have to give a run down of mine and Elliot’s life story, it’s nice when people want to speak but they should also respect our space,” she said.

Young Elliot has baffled doctors due to his complex medical condition.

“Elliot is one in a billion, he is a medical marvel. Doctors haven’t found anyone else in the world that suffers from the same conditions as him which makes treating him sometimes very difficult,” Marnie explained.

But despite everything, the proud mum said his spirit and sunny personality keeps her positive: “He has been through so much but he is such a happy-go-lucky little fellow. He loves his television programmes and absolutely adores being outside, he tries to engage with everything. Even when he’s in hospital, he just gets on with it.”

Stagecoach has been contacted for comment.