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Olive Garden Diner Shows No Amore for Autistic Child
NBC Miami ^ | Tue, Aug 10, 2010 | Jessica Sick

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.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Society; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: florida; northcarolina; oldesalty; olivegarden; restaurant
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1 posted on 08/10/2010 4:39:08 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

This ought to be good ping.....


2 posted on 08/10/2010 4:41:01 PM PDT by FoxPro (Out side of a dog, books are mans best friend. Inside of a dog, it is to dark to read.)
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To: nickcarraway

Another reason to stay far away from the Boynton Beach mall. I hate that place.


3 posted on 08/10/2010 4:41:24 PM PDT by OldDeckHand
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To: nickcarraway

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.


4 posted on 08/10/2010 4:44:14 PM PDT by Soothesayer9
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To: nickcarraway

Not enough info. What was the behavior of the kid like? Extremely disruptive, like throwing things, yelling, etc.?


5 posted on 08/10/2010 4:44:44 PM PDT by dynachrome (Barack Hussein Obama yunikku khinaaziir!)
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To: nickcarraway

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.


6 posted on 08/10/2010 4:44:53 PM PDT by mom4melody
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To: nickcarraway

That new Moon is really kicking in. First it was the JetBlue flight attendant and now this!


7 posted on 08/10/2010 4:45:13 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: FoxPro

Something in the food made him crazy.

It’s an Olive Garden restaurant, ya know.


8 posted on 08/10/2010 4:46:16 PM PDT by Shermy (Keynesianism, Supply-side "economics." Two sides of the same borrowed coin.)
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To: nickcarraway

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’.


9 posted on 08/10/2010 4:46:34 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: nickcarraway
The guy sounds like a real jerk.
There's no excuse to turn a public encounter into something physical.

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.

10 posted on 08/10/2010 4:47:28 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: mom4melody
"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."

Ouch.
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?

11 posted on 08/10/2010 4:53:01 PM PDT by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: mom4melody
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.

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.

12 posted on 08/10/2010 4:54:26 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: nickcarraway

mean people suck


13 posted on 08/10/2010 4:55:06 PM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: nickcarraway
Here's an idea - serious - get some earplugs. I like the Hearos brand, but YMMV. Carry a couple always. They are cheap, effective and disposable. And they cut the sound to a bearable level.
14 posted on 08/10/2010 4:55:36 PM PDT by neutrino (Globalization is the economic treason that dare not speak its name.(173))
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To: nickcarraway
Can you control your kid, I'm trying to have dinner

Braaaaa-vo!

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.

ML/NJ

15 posted on 08/10/2010 4:55:46 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: Psalm 73
Would you rather that people that had children with disabilities keep them locked in their rooms for fear they may make someone uncomfortable?

Truth be told, yes. In fact, not just those with disabilities but all of them. However, that's not going to happen. So...

16 posted on 08/10/2010 4:57:18 PM PDT by neutrino (Globalization is the economic treason that dare not speak its name.(173))
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To: nickcarraway

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?


17 posted on 08/10/2010 5:00:37 PM PDT by SampleMan (If all of the people currently oppressed shared a common geography, bullets would already be flying.)
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To: Psalm 73

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.


18 posted on 08/10/2010 5:01:13 PM PDT by discostu (like a dog being shown a card trick)
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To: Soothesayer9

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.


19 posted on 08/10/2010 5:01:42 PM PDT by utahagen
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To: Psalm 73

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.


20 posted on 08/10/2010 5:04:01 PM PDT by jimtorr
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To: Drew68
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).

Life isn't fair, Pal, despite what the Liberals have told you. I cannot even smoke a cigar anymore because it might offend someone. Keep your kids away from me if they cannot behave. (My kids NEVER disturbed anyone in adult situations. My daughter was dining in REAL restaurants when she was six. I KNEW she could do it. She first attended the Metropolitan Opera with me when she was eight. And she wasn't the one unwrapping little cellophane wrapped candies.)

ML/NJ

21 posted on 08/10/2010 5:04:01 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: nickcarraway

The disgruntled diner would have done better to register his displeasure with the manager on duty, then called the district manager the next day. Or asked for his money back.

As for the father of the autistic kid: find a babysitter and leave the kid at home if he can’t behave. The parents knew their son would have difficulties in this sort of setting, so why gamble and make every patron miserable?

Why parents wish to inflict their little ‘angels’ dreadful behavior on a captive audience is beyond me. In most restaurants, patrons expect food, decent service and an atmosphere condusive to conversation, not the spectacle of a special-needs child that cannot control himself nor of an altercation between two grown men that knew better. And, yes when in a restaurant, I have politely asked the manager on duty to speak to parents of misbehaving children. Asking if they could control their children as I and my party we attempting to enjoy our dinner. Many times, just the act of summoning the manager, is enough to shame the parents into corralling their recalcitrant youngsters. Not kids that fidgeted or played at the table, but kids whose behavior truly warranted it. Call me a b!tch, I’m too old to care.


22 posted on 08/10/2010 5:05:01 PM PDT by bigredkitty1 (March 5,2010. Rest in peace, sweet boy. I will miss you, Big Red.)
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To: ml/nj
Keep your kids away from me if they cannot behave.

Or what?

23 posted on 08/10/2010 5:07:46 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: nickcarraway
This is weird. Last month I took my niece and her son who is autistic to Olive Garden. He smashed his hand between the chair & the table and had an outburst. My niece had him under control in less than a minute. No one in the restaurant said a word & they would have no idea he was autistic.
24 posted on 08/10/2010 5:08:03 PM PDT by Linda Frances
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To: mom4melody
I can personally attest that there is absolutely a difference between an autistic kid's behavior because of how it makes him/her and just a 'spoiled brat' kid. I have the former, I can't stand the latter. There are absolutely certain foods/additives that set my son off so artificially that as soon as his behavior starts going whacky, I ask my wife 'Did he have candy/gum/food with aspertame or a red-dye additive?'. No kidding. I always laughed at the aspertame idiot emails - and I glady enjoy Extra gum or anything else with aspertame. But it's like a switch goes off.

Having said all that - I provide a stern hand and discipline as needed to him as I don't mix his condition with just typical pushing Dad's buttons or acting up. I told my wife a long time ago, I'm hard pressed to let an attitude of heart/spiritual thing be confused by a physiological/neurological thing. And besides, God is greater than it all - He didn't just wake up last week and say "Oh, what's this? Autism? Hmm, not sure how to instruct on that one."

As far as this idiot goes, he's the typical ignorant dope. We control our son and I make sure to consider others around as best as possible. But I'm also not going to oblige to 'keep the little monster away from us normal folk out here'.
25 posted on 08/10/2010 5:09:31 PM PDT by time4good
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To: neutrino
"...not just those with disabilities but all of them."

Yup, I hear ya', brother - and loud drunks too.
And anyone still driving around with an "Obama - Biden" sticker on their car.
And male waiters with that homo-lisp thing.
And people with faces full of metal studs - I can't even bring myself to look at em' without wanting to hurl.
And, hey while we're at it - the Irish, too - they should all be locked up..............

26 posted on 08/10/2010 5:10:27 PM PDT by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: Psalm 73
Would you rather that people that had children with disabilities keep them locked in their rooms for fear they may make someone uncomfortable?

Assume that you take your family out to a movie ($80) and the kid in front of you with Tourrett's Syndrome keeps spinning around and screaming profanities at you through the entire movie, or even just a few times during the movie, how would you answer that?

Obviously there is no need to cage your child all of the time. You have an incredible burden placed on you. Yes, I get just what a burden it is. Its tremendous, almost unfathomable for most. Yet, it is your burden. Do the best you can. Most people are understanding, if you are reacting to curb what is clearly unacceptable behavior.

God bless you, and give you strength to work with your daughter.

27 posted on 08/10/2010 5:12:27 PM PDT by SampleMan (If all of the people currently oppressed shared a common geography, bullets would already be flying.)
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To: bigredkitty1
Call me a b!tch, I’m too old to care.

You old bitch.

I just could not resist...

28 posted on 08/10/2010 5:14:06 PM PDT by don-o (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.)
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To: nickcarraway

The guy could have reacted better...However people go to semi-decent sit down restaurants like Olive Garden to enjoy a meal without kids running around screaming and acting nuts. If you want to let your kids run crazy go to Chuck E Cheese............

I can’t stand when you’re eating a meal at a sit down restaurant and some obnoxious kid walks up to your table and starts acting crazy meanwhile the parents aren’t paying any attention....


29 posted on 08/10/2010 5:14:11 PM PDT by jakerobins
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To: nickcarraway
"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."

I hope this guy "Blankenfield" meets Big Bubba in jail and gets a size nine poop chute, that's what this ignorant jackass deserves.

30 posted on 08/10/2010 5:16:28 PM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: time4good

PS - I never let my son become a little monster, not even a whiney snot when we’re in a public setting. As a parent of such, I know I have to apply the constant balance of consideration of what’s going on in his frustrated little brain and cut some slack and when it gets beyond what reasonable, patient patrons would not appreciate. As compared to a previous poster who has a huge selfishness problem for anyone not his ‘style’.


31 posted on 08/10/2010 5:17:26 PM PDT by time4good
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To: Psalm 73
"...not just those with disabilities but all of them."

Yup, I hear ya', brother - and loud drunks too.
And anyone still driving around with an "Obama - Biden" sticker on their car.
And male waiters with that homo-lisp thing.
And people with faces full of metal studs - I can't even bring myself to look at em' without wanting to hurl.
And, hey while we're at it - the Irish, too - they should all be locked up..............

You know...since you mention it...I like your thinking! I don't know about the Irish, but with that minor exception, you've got my vote!

32 posted on 08/10/2010 5:17:43 PM PDT by neutrino (Globalization is the economic treason that dare not speak its name.(173))
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To: jakerobins
people go to semi-decent sit down restaurants like Olive Garden..

I'm typically not a food snob, but Olive Garden isn't a semi-decent restaurant. I've eaten at one ... ONCE, and I shall never do it again. Food was horrible, place was dirty, service sucked.

And it was overpriced for what it was too.

The food was by no means "authentic" neither.

33 posted on 08/10/2010 5:20:24 PM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: Soothesayer9
Kids don't even need to be autistic to end up misbehaving exhuberantly ~ if, for example, the kid has never been shopping with the parents to grocery stores and so on, and you are a Boy Scout leader taking the kids out to buy food for their camping trip (to meet 2nd Class, 1st Class, Star, Life or Eagle requirements) that boy will be turning cartwheels and filling a grocery cart before you can say "put that down".

It can get worse!

Many parents with just ordinary kids, to say nothing of autistic kids, avoid taking them into public places ~ so the kids never get a chance to learn what to do or what is expected.

It can be difficult the first time, and there are old biddies and crotchety business types who may well accuse you of "turning your kid loose", but ya' gotta do it. Eventually the kid will figure it out even if the biddies and business types don't.

34 posted on 08/10/2010 5:25:12 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: nickcarraway
It doesn't say how bad of a disruption there was and I wonder what other patrons would say.

When my oldest was a baby, we went to a rodeo in Laughlin. Afterward, we went to one of the casino restaurants. As another group was being seated, our son gave a squeal of delight, as babies will, and one woman loudly complained about "not another noisy baby". He was very good through the meal, but as we were leaving, my husband and my son had the other customers in the restaurant laughing.

35 posted on 08/10/2010 5:25:39 PM PDT by HungarianGypsy
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To: nickcarraway

Look, we have all seen instances of parents NOT parenting and disciplining their child that desperately needs verbal and/or physical correction.

The two instances in this story are not two examples of this, but rather of people losing it and getting violent with other people.

A crying baby in a confined space can be irritating, but temporary. But you can’t reason or correct a baby for that. An autistic child may or may not be able to told by parents to calm down or have techniques that can calm them down, but usually strangers raising voices and getting physical with them or their parents is going to make it worse.


36 posted on 08/10/2010 5:27:35 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: usconservative

By “Semi Decent” sit down restaurant..I didn’t mean the quality of the food.... I was refering to price. It is Upscale from say a McDonalds..Fazoli’s or an Applebee’s...However in my personal view the food isn’t much better than fast food and about as authentic italian as chef boyardee.. LOL I just meant an eatery where generally kids aren’t seen running around and their aren’t “Play Place’s”...... I prefer to eat at a local individually owned italian place...If I have to go to a chain I like Carrabba’s.


37 posted on 08/10/2010 5:30:19 PM PDT by jakerobins
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To: Drew68
Or what?

Judging by your remark, I guess your kids will be rude and disturb others and it will be fine with you. Maybe you would be more comfortable with the folks over at DU who don't give a sh*t about imposing themselves on others either.

ML/NJ

38 posted on 08/10/2010 5:30:33 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj
Judging by your remark, I guess your kids blah, blah, blah, whimper, whimper, mumble...

Didn't think so.

39 posted on 08/10/2010 5:34:35 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: bigredkitty1

Me too!


40 posted on 08/10/2010 5:37:21 PM PDT by Jean2
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To: SampleMan
"...the kid in front of you with Tourrett's Syndrome keeps spinning around and screaming profanities at you..."

I understand what you're trying to say - but it's apples and oranges.
Autism covers a WIDE spectrum - some people that have known us for a while are shocked to find out our daughter is "Autistic".
She is extremely bright and quite charming (and beautiful).
But then there's the OCD thing, and the (rare) outbursts that come, really, out-of-the-blue.
She is going on 9 and she knows she is not like "other kids" and she is OK with that, but she tries really, really hard.
I thank you for your patience and understanding if you ever encounter a child like her.

41 posted on 08/10/2010 5:37:50 PM PDT by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: SampleMan

Best post so far.


42 posted on 08/10/2010 5:39:20 PM PDT by fanfan (Why did they bury Barry's past?)
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To: time4good

ICAM! Last Friday I was having lunch and a few feet away there were these people with 3 small children. One of the them wouldn’t shut up and was screeching adn carrying on.

I don’t think that child had autism but I don’t know. The point is; all too often in our society we just let kids and their behavior slide.


43 posted on 08/10/2010 5:40:21 PM PDT by Jean2
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To: nickcarraway

I wonder what people who can’t tolerate special needs childrens behavior would say or do when one of their children or grandchildren has something like that. Believe me, I have seen it over and over. My wife and I used to be foster parents to special needs kids.


44 posted on 08/10/2010 5:40:23 PM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: nickcarraway
Your rights end at your nose and the other persons right start at their nose. If you child (young or unable to control themselves) is causing a disturbance, you must remove that child. No one should have to endure and other persons child disabled or not. My children were never allowed to do this in any public place. My parents never allowed it either.
45 posted on 08/10/2010 5:42:49 PM PDT by bmwcyle (It is Satan's fault)
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To: neutrino

I would also do the same for these obnoxious liberal bloviators who sound off in public at the top of their voices.


46 posted on 08/10/2010 5:43:09 PM PDT by Jean2
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To: Psalm 73

I don’t think children with issues should be locked in their rooms, but...

Before I get blasted let me say there are several special needs children in my family and I encourage them being able to get out and about and participate as much as possible in the real world.

To me, going out to eat with my hubby is a special occasion and when we were younger it was a break from our own children as well. I don’t mind seeing children in adult type restaurants but I do expect them to behave and not disturb others. Whether they are too young to behave, have not been taught how to act, or have issues that keep them from behaving appropriatly that is not the problem of other patrons. I did not take my children anywhere but fast food places until they knew how to act and if they didn’t behave we left ASAP.

I don’t eat at Olive Garden or other chain restaurants so I don’t know if it is a place where children should or should not be allowed to go before they know how to act. If these type of restaurants are places where adults go to unwind then children should not be there before they can handle the situation. If they are family places then children should be able to go while still learning how to act and if others don’t like it then they need to go to a more adult oriented restaurant.


47 posted on 08/10/2010 5:46:29 PM PDT by Tammy8 (~Secure the border and deport all illegals- do it now! ~ Support our Troops!~)
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To: ml/nj
I cannot understand why they don't have one or two adults only rooms

That would be a great solution, and the restaurants should have the space to make that work since most had smoking areas and now don't. Seperate the adults that want to enjoy a quiet meal from families that have children that likely won't be so quiet and not always well-behaved.

48 posted on 08/10/2010 5:50:17 PM PDT by Tammy8 (~Secure the border and deport all illegals- do it now! ~ Support our Troops!~)
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To: Tammy8
If they are family places then children should be able to go while still learning how to act and if others don’t like it then they need to go to a more adult oriented restaurant.

It's hard to find an adult oriented restaurant. Low end - noisy kids. Lower middle - noisy kids. Middle grade - yes, you guessed it, noisy kids. High grade - noisy kids with a sense of entitlement.

And then there are the "adults" who scream into their cell phones. Don't even get me started on that one.

49 posted on 08/10/2010 5:52:01 PM PDT by neutrino (Globalization is the economic treason that dare not speak its name.(173))
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To: ml/nj

I have four children, and every one of them behaved appropriately in public from about 3 years old on. When they were too small, we kept them away from venues that were not small child friendly.

Olive Garden, church, weddings, etc. are not the place for out of control kids (whatever the reason) and parents that won’t deal with it (good on those parents here that try).

Life isn’t fair. My niece was born at 22 weeks, is blind, can’t walk, and slobbers like a baby (and she’s 18). She does not go to restaurants because, frankly, it’s gross to watch her eat. Is that fair? No, it’s not, but it is life.

I think both the guys in the story were jerks, and the restaurant manager a whimp for not making those parents deal with that kid.


50 posted on 08/10/2010 5:53:58 PM PDT by mom4melody
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