It has come to my attention that a friend of ours in the autism community was recently treated badly in California at an Applebee’s restaurant because her child has Autism. Here is the letter that she has let me post here in hopes that we can DO SOMETHING to help her. Call the media? Something.. Bring AWARENESS to the public…SOME JUSTICE for the inhumanity that this piece of crap manager imposed on OUR FRIEND…OUR FAMILY….Please repost this and if you live in the area please contact the proper people so that something can be done!!!!!!!

Dear Applebee’s,

I write you as a faithful patron of your chain who left the restaurant feeling discriminated and disgraced as single mother tonight. I look for Applebees because the food is reasonable and its nice atmosphere. I am a single parent and I have a child with autism. He is four years old and limited verbally. His name is Andy. Time to time I take him to your restaurant in Fountain Valley, California and we have had a wonderful time.
Tonight I got him out of the car to choose where to eat and he ran to Applebees with a smile on his face. This is his favorite place. He does not understand when food was passing right by him and he had nothing. When we first sat down I asked the waitress to give us something as soon as possible. 10 minutes later we got our drinks and crackers. . . .I was singing to Andy doing everything I could every time food went by he let out a short yelp. I was pulling out everything in my bag of tricks I could. Then he calm down.
The manager came to me and told me because of my child he lost business (boy I felt guilty). I felt as though my heart was being ripped into two. I try so hard with my son. I told him my son was waiting for food –chips anything. I apologized and told him my son does not speak much and has autism and I’m sorry. He came back a second time and told he was losing more business because of my son. I had to do something. All my son wanted was drinks something. He came back told me we had to leave. I’m sorry I told him. This time every one was looking at us because of the manager kept making a huge deal and coming to our table. We were yet to get our food. My heart was sinking and all my son wanted was food! I felt stepped upon like yesterday’s trash.
I had to pull my fifty pound four year old out of his favorite place in tears. This posed a tremendous safety hazard and was totally unnecessary. I feel like my heart was smashed in a million pieces. When we were out the door the manager said “I had to do I have to do and that I should not take my son out if he is not fit (How is he qualified to make this comment).” As he plopped a bag of food to go in my hand.
I take my son out to eat a lot and we have never been kicked out and disgraced like this. We ate at this restaurant a lot. . . . .He just a little kid—and if they would brought him food—or drinks—I could not get him out the door after he ran in because he was at his favorite place—I understand why he did what he did but he did not have to be cruel he could have done it differently —instead me having to pull him out in tears. I do not have much money and I try to get my son positive experiences and take him to places he enjoys I earned a gift certificate from my work and I took him there for a good time. I usually can not afford Apple Bees and I take him there as a reward he lights up so much in the restaurant.
I feel belittled and disgraced and this hurts this truly hurts. I feel like I have been ran over by a Mac truck. How can I ever take my sweet my little boy to his favorite place again let alone out to eat in public again?
A former AppleBees patron

I was outraged when I read this!!  And I told them so, right here:


2 messages:

  1. Elle said...

    I left them this message:

    Dear Appleebees,

    I just read a post from a mother who was recently asked to leave your restaurant because of her son. Your manager claimed the child was too disruptive and was causing customers to leave. The manager then told her she should maybe not take her child out in public if she could not control him. She left the restaurant feeling embarrassed, alienated, and with her son in tears.

    I am truly disgusted by the ignorance. Had you simply asked; you would have known that this child had autism. He is not a child that acts out because he's misbehaved or his mother doesn't know "how to control him." He is a child with a disability. As a mother of a child with autism, I know how this mother felt. The amount of ignorance society has against individuals with autism is outstanding. Clearly this is the case here. You may have done what you "had to do"; but guess what... so will I. I will never set foot again in my life in another Appleebees restaurant. And I will tell every single friend and relative not to either.  

  2. And Wake Me With the Morning Light said...

    That is so bogus! As a person who has spent a lot of time working with kids with autism (in a job that involves taking the out in the community) I know how it feels to get the "If he can't BEHAVE, just don't take him out" comment. It disgusts me! Not only do children with special needs have every right to be out in public like everyone else, but they DESERVE, and NEED, to have normal experiences, like going out to dinner with their mom! I am certainly going to add my own comment at the Applebees comment form, and I will pass this letter along to others.



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