Skip to comments.Olive Garden Diner Shows No Amore for Autistic Child
Posted on 08/10/2010 4:39:06 PM PDT by nickcarraway
One family got more than unlimited breadsticks when they visited a Boynton Beach Olive Garden Saturday night.
Richard Bennett and his family were having dinner at the Olive Garden at 1001 N. Congress Avenue when Bennett claims Paul Blankenfield started to make comments about his son, according to the police report.
"Can you control your kid, I'm trying to have dinner," Bennett told police Blankenfield said several times. Bennett said he tried to ignore Blankenfield, but when Blankenfield began to curse, Bennett told him that his 11-year-old son had autism. To which Blankenfield replied, "So what?"
The confrontation got physical when Blankenfield got up from his seat, pushed Bennett's chest and struck him in the side of the neck before other patrons intervened. When police arrived, Blankenfield was handcuffed and charged with simple battery.
"You know what, good for him," the police report states Blankenfield said of Bennett when he was being transported to jail. "he gets what he deserved - an autistic kid."
This isn't the first time lately that a complete stranger has taken to disciplining another person's child.
Jeffrey Feld was arrested in June after slapping a crying toddler in the elevator at a Surfside Publix.
This ought to be good ping.....
Another reason to stay far away from the Boynton Beach mall. I hate that place.
An autistic child was at a party recently I attended. He was very loud and obnoxious and made everyone uncomfortable. I dont know if this was due to the autism or not, but I was glad when he left.
Not enough info. What was the behavior of the kid like? Extremely disruptive, like throwing things, yelling, etc.?
I can’t stand being around brats in public either. If they will not (or cannot, in this case) act appropriate for the venue, they have no business being there.
That new Moon is really kicking in. First it was the JetBlue flight attendant and now this!
Something in the food made him crazy.
It’s an Olive Garden restaurant, ya know.
Obviously no reason for him to get physical. Not nearly enough info on how disruptive the kid was. Autism as now diagnosed can cover a wide range on ‘the spectrum’.
Now, having said that, I will say that my wife and I never took our children to restaurants until we were sure that they could behave themselves. Families with special needs children have a tougher time of it, but I do think that there is an obligation for ANY parent to make sure that their children won't bother other people.
My daughter is autistic - we will remove her from the situation ASAP when she has an episode, but sometimes it may take a few minutes more than people may like.
We never really know when she is about to lose it - she can be perfectly normal and charming, then all of a sudden.....
Would you rather that people that had children with disabilities keep them locked in their rooms for fear they may make someone uncomfortable?
I dunno, I guess as a new father I sorta have mixed feelings. On one hand, I sympathize with those who are disturbed during what should be a relaxing meal at a restaurant and on the other hand I wonder if it is fair that children with disabilities such as autism be denied the same experiences that other "normal" kids get to enjoy (like eating at a restaurant).
I was recently at a grocery store and saw a mother with her disabled teenage son. This kid had that "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" type of autism. I tried to put myself in her shoes and all I could think of was how grateful I am to have a healthy child.
mean people suck
Anyone with kids who goes to a restaurant with a liquor license who isn't prepared to get up and leave if they disturb other diners shouldn't go there. And if they do they go and disturb others, they should be asked to leave.
I like Olive Gardens. I think they serve reasonably sophisticated food at just above fast-food prices. But I cannot understand why they don't have one or two adults only rooms.
Truth be told, yes. In fact, not just those with disabilities but all of them. However, that's not going to happen. So...
Hmmm? Anyone here want to have dinner next to a person with Tourette Syndrome? I didn’t think so.
So what do you do? Well, I think first, parents with an autistic child or any other disruptive child must own that behavior. Yea, I know its not easy, I had dinner with an autistic child the other night. We all accept it and it works, but we ate at home. They didn’t force strangers to accept it. My friends are too considerate to do that.
The definition of a handicap is that it prevents you from doing certain things, sometimes those things include going out to dinner.
Clearly the other guy was a jerk, but maybe he had an issue too? And then what?
It’s unfortunate for the ones with disabilities, but out in public is out in public and anybody that can’t muster up the basic courtesy of public civilization shouldn’t be out there. I know non-autistic people that I won’t go out in public with because they don’t grasp the basic niceties (nerds, not all of them are house broken). They’re not bad people but I pity anybody sitting in the same section as them in a restaurant.
I am confused by this story. The hallmark of autism used to be an inability to connect emotionally with people; autistics were more likely to be zombies than brats. Yet this story describes an out-of-control kid who would more likely be diagnosed as OCD or as having oppositional defiance disorder.
I know what you mean about episodes. My nephew has mild autism. He is 8 now, and seems to have eidetic memory. He tells his father that he remembers all of his episodes, when he got crazy. He says that he knew what was happening, bot could not control himself.