I have several friends who have non-neuro-typical kids. I feel for them, and I support their efforts to give their kids as normal a life as possible. And I realize that they must face a lot of insensitive jerkwads in public who curl their lips or even make nasty comments over harmless but odd behaviors.
Understandably, these folks are interested in stories of discrimination and hardship for similar kids, and I will often see them post stories on Facebook about such incidents. Only, it seems to me that often the parents of such disabled kids are making a huge stink over people objecting to behaviors that aren’t just a bit odd, but which no one would ever dream of tolerating from a neurotypical person, and which actually impinge on normal enjoyment of activities. There seems to be a growing notion that every disabled child has a right to engage in all activities a child might enjoy, no matter what, and anyone who even accidentally, slightly impinges on this right is a monstrous bigot who is deliberately victimizing the children *because *of their disability.
Case in point: customers at Panera asked an employee to do something about a child’s obnoxiously loud shoes. Probably customers and employee alike assumed they were these stupid novelty shoes. And when the mother explained they were medically necessary, the employee was very nice, but the mother felt so victimized she fled crying, and demanded the chain issue a public apology. When my friend posted this story, she was outraged that people were being such assholes to disabled people.
I’ve also read stories of parents offended that their children having meltdowns in movie theaters or restaurants were not welcomed to stay, of someone being mortally offended at the cruelty of a restaurant patron moving to a table farther from her autistic child who was constantly vocalizing, and a parent demanding that her local girl scout troop pay for a sign language interpreter for every outing so her daughter could participate.
Am I just being insensitive, or have some of these folks gotten so used to battling for decent treatment and reasonable opportunity that they can’t see the line between reasonable and ridiculous anymore? My thought is that if your child is screaming in a theater or restaurant, regardless of the cause, you need to remove them. And yeah, that can suck, but it hardly seems correct to assume everyone else just needs to put up with the screaming. If my child needed help to enjoy extracurricular activities, I’d probably wind up chaperoning all the time, not telling the other volunteers they needed to pony up money to pay a professional to do it.
Other friends of my friend are asserting that even if the kid in the story was fully able and the shoes were a lark, anyone in such a low-rent restaurant as Panera would have no right to complain anyway. Tell me I’m not the crazy one here! (Though I personally wouldn’t bother complaining, I sure have thought some annoyed thoughts at parents who brought similarly-shod children to public places!)