Autism Parenting While Eating Out

     As a parent with children on the Autism spectrum, I've been both commended and scolded for how my children behave at restaurants. I'm so thankful my identity is not tied to the varying and variable opinions of others. Impatience by a waiter over a child who (again) needs more time to decide. Strange looks for allowing an older child to sit under the booth to escape the noise. Compassion for a child who believes is independent enough to find the washroom, but needs and receives redirection away from the doors to the kitchen. Congratulations from a table nearby for the excellent manners of my son who adds "thank you" to almost every verbal exchange with strangers. I don't, however, remember any incidents where patrons argued about my parenting right in front of me.
     This video, using hidden cameras and actors, addresses the responses of bystanders who witness a man verbally chew out parents of an Autistic boy. While some of the supportive responses seem equally rude, it is encouraging to see other take action to support this family.
     Have you seen someone take action to support an Autistic family in public? What reactions have you experienced while eating out? What would you do?






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