I wish I was warned.

Yesterday was a good day.  Sawyer went to school, Evelyn went to gymnastics, Cobe got his chocolate croissant.  Kellie got home from work early.  We went strawberry picking.  We were lucky to bump into a close friend and her wonderful children.  We picked up Evelyn from gymnastics as a family.  So we rode the wave to extend our day to a quick dinner.  It was just that kind of day.
All was well.  There was no wait to sit.  Each kid was able to try out an electronic device at the table.  Everyone was happy playing and talking.  Our food came quick.  We got to eat and just enjoy a nice summer evening as a family.  It was one of those moments when we were no different from anyone else. This was until Sawyer’s screen shut off and he belted out a scream.  A matter of 3 seconds changed everything.  

Typically a scream at a restaurant doesn’t make anyone blink.  Kids have their moments.  Autism or not, life happens.  However, the reaction of the woman sitting across from us was shocking. She shouted out due to Sawyer’s scream.  Her actions implied that she wanted us to know that she was annoyed.

As I tilted my head in her direction and as Kellie comforted Sawyer to settle him, Kellie stopped and turned.   She didn’t freeze.  It was like a boxer rising from the canvas after being knocked down.  In pure calmness and class, Kellie explained to the woman Sawyer is autistic and didn’t understand what was happening to his screen  The woman’s response, “I wish I was warned.” Disgusted.  Offended.  Outraged.  Who could even suggest such a thing? How could someone even think this?  She in fact wanted to be told that he was autistic.

Kellie responded with the fact that we will not keep Sawyer home and hidden from the community.  He has every right to be out to dinner with everyone else.                   The conversation ended quickly.  Kellie took the kids, and I waited to pay for the bill.  I had eyes on me sitting there sans family.  My head was up, I was upset but not defeated.  Our server was outraged and apologized.  She took money off the bill though I didn’t accept by doubling her tip.  A family across from us sent desert to go.  They were complete strangers who provided the kindest comfort.                                          

As I thanked them, many approached Kellie and apologized to her for the customers behavior.  However, the damage was done.  We were unified and appreciated the support.  We couldn’t escape the notion of what would be if we weren’t there to speak up on Sawyer’s behalf. This is our reality.  We have love and support.  Though we have our worries.  Sawyer is 6 years old.  He is lovable, charismatic, funny, intelligent, and a showman.  He is autistic and may display behavior that can be disruptive.                        

Just know this.  We won’t be attaching bracelets or flashing blue lights to announce his needs.  He’s our son and we are proud to be his parents. His brother and sister are proud to be his sibling.  So if one person expects to be warned, I’m sorry to disappoint her though I can promise her this.      

The Rubin’s aren’t hiding or scared.  We are an autism family.  There is this your warning.  We are here to educate and inspire.  There’s your warning ❤️

9 responses to “I wish I was warned.”

  1. I’m glad to hear that many more people were supportive. Our kiddos *do* deserve to be out with their families just like everyone else. You’re absolutely right too about not putting the flashing lights, bracelets or other “warnings” on them. GREAT POST!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My Grandson at that age managed to immediately break two rules upon entering the SEE museum- he broke loose from his adult companion, ran (#1 Rule no running), and vaulted over the plexiglass enclosure for lego exhibit. Rule #2 Do not touch the Legos broken immediately as several adults tried to access him to stop the destruction.
    An adult staff member was assigned to follow them around for rest of visit and my creative, inquisitive grandson has been banned for life from museum.
    Needless to say it was very embarrassing for my daughter-in-law. My granddaughter was livid that her brother on the spectrum was banned. She could not understand why they would do that. Lucky for them Grammy was not in attendance that day. I do pass the word that that facility is not autism friendly and to be friendly, you use your heads and not place an exhibit like that in plain sight of children obsessed with legos and then say don’t touch. Instead you have an interactive exhibit that lets them play with legos!
    What is answer? Educate as best as you can, learn to laugh in retrospect, and continue to write your blog Jon. I have a wealth of experiences that I can laugh about now as I watch the world begin to adapt as the number of diagnoses increase and children and parents and grandparents continue to advocate for their loved ones. One lousy patron outweighed by restaurant staff and patrons. Sawyer certainly won this round with his team behind him!♥️

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Three kids with developmental disabilities, many of our own restaurant dinners ruined, thanks to organic brain damage and a few jerks. I salute you and yours.


  4. Another testament to the strength, love and courage of your family. One ignorant woman unified and drew many to action and support. When they go low, you go high… which you always do… and Sawyer and the rest of the world benefits. Way to go Rubins!!!! Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Learned about you from one of the New Hope for Leo weekly updates by his mom. I post his mom’s weekly updates on my own Word Press blog. Your writing skill is both compelling and endearing. Unfortunately, I don’t have any “connections” with book publishers; but if I did, I would be on the phone asking them to get in touch with you ASAP. Please keep updating your narrative. You have a gift in that you can share your feelings so very well. Kudos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much. Getting published is my goal. Just going to be a long road to get there :).


  6. Love it and damn right. My/Yours/our children deserve everything this world has to offer minus sh**y people. I was kind of hoping to read that you responded with “It would have been nice to be warned we were sitting next to an a**hole!” Maybe next time! Sorry for the language. I have no tolerance for the treatment you received.
    I just found your blog and really like it. Keep up the great work.

    Liked by 1 person

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