There is a story going around the internet about a waiter who refused to serve a family at a restaurant. The family took offense that another family brought their child, who has Down Syndrome, to the restaurant. The family made a mean comment. The waiter refused to serve the family who made the mean comment. He did the right thing!
This situation occurred in a restaurant called Laurenzo’s Prime Rib that is located in Houston, Texas. Kim Castillo was there with her family. Her son, Milo, has Down Syndrome. She wrote about her experience on a note on one of her friend’s Facebook pages. She allowed a blog called Whine & Dine permission to share it with the blog’s readers.
The Castillo family has been to Laurenzo’s many times. They had not been in for a while, so the staff came over to say hello to Milo. The family was encouraging Milo to use words and communicate with the waiters. He recently had a birthday, so he was telling the waiters how old he was. (Milo is 5). He was also encouraged to use some of his new vocabulary. To me, it sounded like a positive environment for Milo to practice using new words and to improve communication skills.
Sometime after the Castillo’s had been seated, a family of four came to Laurenzo’s. The family of four was seated in the booth next to the Castillo’s. According to SF Gate the family asked to be moved. They left the restaurant shortly after that.
What happened in between? Someone in that family of four told the waiter, Michael Garcia, the following:
Special needs kids should be kept in special places.
As a result, the waiter refused to serve that family. He told them he was offended by their comment and refused to serve them.
In other words, the family wasn’t complaining because several waiters said hello to Milo. They didn’t say that the Castillo’s were being too loud. No, someone in that family of four felt the need to specifically voice his or her mean-spirited opinion that people who have special needs “should be kept in special places”.
In April of 2012, a television show called What Would You Do? staged a situation that involved a family dining out with their teenage son, who had autism. The entire family was played by actors. The son has a “meltdown”. The purpose was to see how diners would react.
To their credit, the diners were very supportive of the family that had a child with special needs. Another actor was hired to make comments like the one a real family made at Laurenzo’s. In that instance, the crowd of diners voiced strong disagreement with the man who made the nasty comments. It is pretty clear that people who want to make nasty comments about children who have special needs are not earning themselves any positive responses.
Image by Matt Erasmus on Flickr