Friday, January 18, 2013

Waiter refuses to serve a family who insults a child with Down syndrome

I am sure that we have all been stared at one time or another in our lives.  My daughter gets stared at frequently.  Often, it because she is gorgeous and frantically waving while shouting "Die-Die" [bye-bye].  People stare and often interact with her--high-5s, waving, talking to her like a real human being. Like a child of worth.

Yet, there are those other stares.  The glares and the not-so-nice stares.  More often than not, I choose to believe it is because she is being ornery in true Ellie fashion in a restaurant or grocery store.  However, I am not so ignorant to believe that perhaps are few of those stares are because she has Down syndrome.  Disabilities come in many forms and my daughter happens to have a syndrome that is visible to the naked eye.  Yes, she looks different.  She has stunning blue eyes with an upward slant.  She has a tiny, doll-like nose and a small mid-face.  Her tongue occasionally sticks out and she is floppy, as in low-muscle tone floppy.  She also talks predominantly with her hands or screeches.  Fortunately, these stares are rare and no one has actually approached us and been rude about us bringing our "special needs child out in public".  *GASP*

Now, imagine bringing your family to a restaurant and having the family next to you demand to be seated elsewhere because "special needs kids should be kept in special places".  How many people would stand up for that child?  For that family?  Would you hunker down in your booth and pretend you didn't hear?  Would you turn the other way?  Or would you offer a smile to the family and child with special needs?  Or would you say something to that ignorant family-the one who cannot see the worth of every child?




I read a news story today that commended a waiter at Laurenzo's in Houston, Texas.  The above scenario happened to Kim Castillo's family.  Her little 5 year-old boy, Milo, has Down syndrome.  The neighboring patrons in the restaurant requested to be moved to another table because they did not want to dine next to a child with "special needs".  Milo was not misbehaving or being disruptive.  They truly wanted to move because of his disability.  Huh, I suppose Down syndrome is contagious or something. Look out everyone, child with special needs!  Take cover!  Seriously, I cannot believe people this day and age are still thinking that we should lock our children up in institutions, but again, society never ceases to amaze me.  Anyway, that is not the point of this story, the point is, the waiter would not let it rest.  He stood up for Milo and the Castillo family.  He did not turn the other cheek.  The waiter flat out told the judgmental family of four that he was offended by their behavior and that he would not serve them.  I hope that this waiter's decision to with-hold service was supported by the eating establishment.  (I am also rather worried about the children who are members of this ignorant family.  Those parents are educating their children and setting the example that those with special needs should not be out in society.)
  
As said in the news article "The mom praised the waiter and other members of the restaurant staff, “who not only love [my son] for who he is — a customer and little boy with Down syndrome, but stand up for him no matter what.”

Waiter Praised for Refusing to Serve Family Who Insults Child With Down Syndrome




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10 comments:

  1. I wish that restaurant was nearby where I live so I could go there and tell them that I heard about the waiter in Texas and I wanted to dine there to support him.

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  2. Becca, I can finally reply to the comments!!!! I know, right! Next time I am in Houston, I will be stopping by Laurenzo's

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  3. I am honestly not surprised by anyone these days. Society has come a long way, but there is still so much discrimination towards special needs. I welcome the stares. I want people to look my daughter in the face and see what one aspect of special needs is. I remember in the beginning of our journey--the wonder of whether people were looking at us. What were they thinking? Would we stick out? Would she be made fun of? I have stopped wondering so much. I know that there are people who will never get it. I am thankful for people such as this waiter, who did speak out instead of being silent and continuing to serve that family.

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    1. Sadly, I feel as though I cannot be surprised any more either. Yet, I am relieved that someone unrelated to Milo's family stood up for them. I am relieved that the restaurant supported this waiter's decision to not serve that family Plus, I am amazed and happy to see how much the community has rallied and shown their support.

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  4. We have friends visiting from Houston right now & they showed us the video this morning. I was brought to tears. Wonderful story & I love how his boss and the community backed him up.

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    1. April, I haven't seen the video! I will have to look for it.

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  5. That story made me so mad, yet not surprised. There will always be someone who has a truly, mean, ignorant attitude towards people with disabilities. How sad for them, and like you said, how sad for those children being brought up in the environment and being taught such hateful ignorance. I am so glad that the server stood up and did the right thing!!! I hope I never have to come in contact with that type of ignorance, but if I do I hope someone other than me, or my family would do the same!!

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  6. Wanted to blog about this but you did it perfectly! I couldn't believe the ignorance of that family when I heard about this and am so glad there are still kind people in the world that stand up for people with disabilities. it made me incredibly happy and I hope that family learns something from all of this.

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  7. I applaud that waiter for doing what he did! He did the right thing. Good for him!

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  8. Dealing with children while waitress job is the most difficult task and really need a high level of patience!

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