Saturday, August 09, 2014

Incident at Convenient Food Mart store #702

To whom it may concern;

This message is in regards to an incident that happened tonight at store #702, on East Ave. in Elyria, and why I won't be shopping at that particular store anymore.

My children are both autistic. They are non-verbal and have severe developmental delays. They don't understand situations sometimes. My son in particular is prone to outbursts. I do my best to keep him under control, and if his behavior becomes very bad in public, I escort him out. I have the safety of others in mind. However, he is still my son. I'm not going to shut him up at home and pretend like he's invisible.

Tonight my son and I went to Convenient store #702 to pick up some soda and milk, and some candy for the kids. We loaded our basket with no problem. Standing in line waiting our turn, I rubbed my son's back and told him that we had to wait our turn. Suddenly out of nowhere, he kicked and headbutted me. I wasn't going to stay in line any longer. I backed him up to an open space and attempted to calm him down out of reach of others.

When I thought I succeeded, I wanted to explain the situation to the security guard that store #702 employs, and let him know that my son isn't a delinquent, just a boy with severe developmental delays and disabilities, and that if people were calm I would be able to get my son out of the store easier. At that moment my son kicked the security guard. The man looked at him, and my son kicked him again. At that moment the man said "Do you want me to take you to jail?"

Really? Really? The guy knows that my son doesn't understand his own behavior and he threatens to take him to jail? I looked at the security guard with a dumbfounded look on my face and asked him if he really was thinking about sending an autistic, disabled teen to jail. My son kicked him again; he just looked angrily at my son and at me, and then said "I think you two should just leave." Which we were attempting to do anyway.

I respect the need for security guards, especially at that location. But I think the gentleman in question, indeed any security guard employed by Convenient Food Mart #702, needs to educate themselves a bit on developmental disabilities and how to deal with such situations. Spoiler: angrily threatening to send a non-verbal autistic to jail isn't the best approach.

So I have bought my last Mountain Dew and gallon of milk at that store. I won't go in under any circumstances. I understand my responsibility in this situation, that things need to be taken care of with my son. Believe me, I have been pursuing that zealously. But someone threatening to send my son to jail? Yeah, that isn't happening.

Sean L. MacNair


Blogger Uniting Autism said...

WOW that guy cannot be serious. he was just adding fuel to the fire with that comment.

9:05 PM  

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