Pam Halter
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Parents Blog

Really, people?
1/25/2013 7:36:11 AM by: pam

Check out part of a news story I saw on Facebook:

Usually, when a waiter refuses to serve someone at a restaurant, customers complain. In this case, customers cheered.

The waiter in question, Michael Garcia, has been receiving goodwill and friend requests on the restaurant’s Facebook page since word spread that he stood up for a child with special needs. Garcia, who works at the Houston restaurant Laurenzo's, was waiting on a family, regulars with a 5-year-old child, Milo, who has Down syndrome. The server said that another family at the restaurant commented on Milo’s behavior, which Garcia described as “talking and making little noises." Garcia moved the complaining family to another table, but they were still unhappy. "Special needs children need to be special somewhere else," the father reportedly said. The waiter then took a stand. He told Fox News that such talk is ignorant and is due to people's fear of the unknown. "My personal feelings took over," he said, leading him to tell the father, "Sir, I won't be able to serve you.” The family left the restaurant.

Okay, isn't life hard enough without people like that father making snide comments about kids with special needs? Anna loves to go out to eat. We're always wary of taking her with us for just this reason. We don't want to make people uncomfortable and we know that will happen if Anna has a seizure or if she's particularly talkative that day. But why should she be denied the pleasure of a meal out just because she doesn't understand "proper" restaurant etiquette?

To be fair, I understand wanting a quiet meal with my husband. Anna usually babbles nonstop at home, so it's hardly ever a quiet meal. But it wasn't a husband and wife romantic dinner. It was a whole family! And they were moved away from the boy with Down's syndrome. If they were THAT annoyed, they should have left before it got to this point. It's a good thing such ignorant people don't have a special needs child of their own.

The worst part of all this is that the father said these things in front of his children. I can only pray they won't grow up to feel the same way their father does.

Get with it, people. There are families out there with special needs children who don't want to stay holed up in their homes. If Anna was loud and disruptive, I wouldn't take her out, but she's not. Let's have a little compassion and understanding, please.


Comments

pam From At 2/4/2013 1:54:13 PM

Julie, I thought the very same thing about a grandchild!! Sometimes that's what it takes to change people, though.

Julie From Gettysburg At 2/4/2013 12:52:36 PM

A special education teacher's baby was born with Downs Syndrome. She said that she was actually glad that it wasn't autism. That way people could actually see the disability and maybe understand a little better. As for that complaining Dad? What will he do if he has a granchild with special needs?

pam From At 1/29/2013 7:12:32 AM

It's true ... unless a person can ""see"" something, like Down's, they assume it's all behavior. Anna is perfectly normal at home. But the minute we step out the front door, there's something wrong with her. It's sad.

Jenny From Pa At 1/29/2013 7:07:22 AM

Here's how it is for parents of kids with emotional disabilities... WE get criticized ALL the time. Others look at US and think we are the problem, that we don't know how to parent. They can't ""see"" the disability, so out in public WE are the cause. Not PTSD or trauma or OCD or autism...

pam From At 1/26/2013 4:57:44 AM

I hear you, Deb. And thanks everyone for your comments. I just keep thinking about it and can't help but think God is weeping.

Deb Piccurelli From New Jersey At 1/25/2013 5:35:58 PM

Cheers to that waiter! Jeers to that family, and especially the father. Saying more will cause me to sin.

Candy Abbott From Georgetown, DE At 1/25/2013 11:36:00 AM

The insensitivity of this father is, unfortunately, indicative of a society that has systematically removed God from everyday awareness. He is also the ""type"" to abort at the first hint of anything wrong with an unborn child. I think disabled children are a gift to test our moral fiber.

Tim Shoemaker From Illinois At 1/25/2013 9:02:35 AM

Great points, Pam!

MaryAnn Diorio From At 1/25/2013 8:42:51 AM

It seems to me that the father who complained is the one who has special needs. May God touch His heart with Christ's compassion.

Marlene Bagnull From Lansdale At 1/25/2013 7:46:58 AM

Amen!

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