Robyn Raine knows the sting of furtive whispers, faces of disgust or, worse still, pity and she's borne the brunt of vile barbs as people stop, stare ... and judge.
She's watched tears roll down her son Danny's face as a cruel comment hits home.
"People think they have a right to say whatever they want because he's non-verbal, like he can't hear it," Robyn says.
She's fought for her son, who has cerebral palsy, his entire life - the discrimination, the degradation, the (often unspoken) implication his life is somehow worth less due to his disability.
"We've had to fight for everything, from his health care to his education," the Wodonga mum says.
"As parents we have always wanted what's best for Danny - without all the strings attached; no more than any parent would want for their child."
The family's struggle, their achievements and their courage has been the inspiration for a compelling artwork created by Robyn's sister Rose Wilson.
Titled 'Danny - the patron saint of the disabled', Wilson's painting has been selected in the prestigious Blake Prize, a contemporary religious art prize, now in its 66th year, which attracts entries from across the world.
It's a fitting announcement today on International Day of People With Disabilities, December 3.
Wilson, who says the piece is a very personal one for her, is thrilled the selection also means Danny's story will be shared with a wider audience.
"My nephew was afflicted with cerebral palsy during birth, this brain injury caused the inability to talk or have control over his movements," she wrote in her submission for the art prize.
"An active mind trapped in a broken body, I would often find Danny gazing upwards, his mouth gaping open, similar to Saint Sebastian which often in religious art, around the baroque and renaissance period, symbolised martyrdom.
"Shackled to his wheelchair, the arrows represent the pain and anguish Danny and his mother have endured since he was a baby.
"... as patrons for the disabled they have educated the sinful, the cruel, the naive and the ignorant. Together they have become true advocates ... not just for Danny's affliction but for all who have suffered with a disability.
"Danny is now a young man, has completed his studies, has an active life with the help of carers and his beautiful family, and above all to the stoic and relentless guardian that stands by his side - his mother."
Wilson adds that while it is Danny depicted in the painting, her sister is there with him too.
Robyn and her husband Tony were "overcome" with emotion when they first saw the painting of their son.
"It was confronting when I first saw the full portrait in the studio," Robyn admits.
"It was like a cry; of (Danny) wishing and hoping to be understood. It's nice as a family to see those struggles acknowledged but also his strength and what he's overcome - seeing him as remarkable."
But, it takes a village to raise a child - and that's never more so than when your child has additional needs.
Robyn says Tony and their two other sons have been "phenomenal" in their ongoing love and support for Danny.
"For Danny to have choices in life, you have to surrender a lot of your own choices, which you don't begrudge," she says.
"Danny's brothers (Brandon, 28, and Luke, 23) have also had to go without on occasion.
"(Until the NDIS) everything was so dear and it was hard to get funding; you had to make choices between a wheelchair, for example, or some form of communication tool ..."
For a baby doctors said was unlikely to survive - "We were asked, very harshly, if we would like to 'let him go'" - Danny, 33, has an insatiable appetite for life, his mother says proudly.
"I wouldn't be the person I am today without Danny, what he is teaching society is priceless ... and he still has a smile on his face."