Autistic child receives apology for being asked to leave

Filed under: Big Kids, Special Needs, Mealtime

Imagine you've just sat down in a restaurant and your five-year-old autistic daughter is making a fuss because her favorite food wasn't on the menu. You're trying to deal with the situation when a waiter comes over and informs you that another customer is refusing to pay for their meal until your child is removed from the restaurant. You are then asked to leave.

Now, I'm not fond of children screaming in restaurants and I'm not above taking my kids outside if they can't behave, but it sounds like this family had just arrived, were looking at the menu, and hadn't really had a chance to deal with the situation before being kicked out. Certainly, as the girl's father said, "The first question should have been, 'Is there any way we can help?' not 'Can you please make your child leave.'"

The good news is that the restaurant has apologized and plans to raise funds for autism research. Chris Manderscheib, president of Smitty's Canada, said "we want to make sure that we've addressed it, making sure we educate ourselves as well." Smitty's is a chain of family restaurants and, while a screaming child is never acceptable in any restaurant, I would think the management would be somewhat forgiving and give parents a chance to calm their child before giving them the boot. Perhaps, now, they will.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.