Autistic child kicked off a plane/out of church

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JodyS, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. JodyS

    JodyS New Member

    What is wrong with society? Our children are just throw-a-ways to them! Peope don't have compassion for children with mental health issues. One mom said it perfectly:

    "Wow, autism’s not welcome anywhere, is it? Gosh, wish I’d known about that when I specially-ordered my child, or I’d have asked for some other more socially acceptable disability."

    I know one thing, if they had a child with a conduct disorder, they wouldn't be kicking them out/off!
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Where is that Mom? She just got a job here!!
  3. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I saw this news piece too.
    This sorta thing makes me so angry!!!!
    I have seen it over and over again with my difficult child.
    I have been searching for solutions for our worlds apathy for the last 10 years, & I still have not found them.
    Maybe someday our society will be more empathic, but I have decided it will only be through our advocacy.
  4. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    hmmmmm I am not sure on the conduct disorder part, unless you mean they physically would not be able to remove my difficult child because he was holding onto the pilot with his teeth or something.

    And the church article, so sad. My church is starting a new ministry called "through the roof ministries" for children with Autism, Downs, physical handicaps and conduct disorders. I am on the admin team. It is a huge undertaking but my church loves a challenge!
  5. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Reading the mother's description of how the attendant was dealing with the child reminded me of how so many of our children simply don't respond to authoritarian personalities. Sounds like the attendant was going to show the child just who the boss was and show the mother how to handle a misbehaving child. When it didn't work out the way she thought it would.......kick them off the plane.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    This story ought to make our blood run cold, a psychiatric patient was ignored to death. Warning! The video is very disturbing,
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    The teen kicked out of church - The parents knew what concerns others had and were addressing those concerns by when they attended mass and where they sat. The church leaders could have approached the parents with any other concern and the parents would have found a way to work through it. It sounds like the parent attended with him so if there really was a problem, they would have handled it. I don't understand how the church makes this decision. There should have been educational opportunities for the congregation, not a turning away of a member.

    The kid on the plane - I did see the news coverage on this. Why don't people work with parents? If the parent is calm and feels he/she has it under control and knows what steps to take, do whatever is needed to support the parent. Isn't it the stewardess's job to ask, "What can be done to make your son's trip comfortable?" The mom knew what was needed and figured out how to do it while staying within airline rules and the second stewardess refused it. If I remember correctly, on a previous plane the stewardess did work with the mom and there were no problems.

    It really amazes me how uncomfortable people are around difficult children. I knew one person who would refuse to even set foot on the campus of a behavioral health facility because she was afraid of the clients.

    The church members who initiated this (probably some old ladies who want everything to be ohhh so picture perfect during mass) and all stewardesses need training on all behaviors. Everyone needs training on communicating.

    Who are these people and why do they get to decide to offend difficult children families?
  8. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I just saw the news coverage about the psychiatric patient. I can understand why fellow patients may not raise the alarm - I would think this would be scary but they have been told to wait their turn and staff will ignore anyone who is persistant so why bother trying to get help? And some are acting like "no big deal" as if this happens around them all the time. It is the security guards that bother me - however, I would check communication logs to see if they did ask for help (they are also probably ignored by medical stall) before jumping to a conclussion - though the 2nd security on the chair didn't look like he was in any hurry to try to get help.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The church situation - we had that problem a few years ago. The church congregation was split between those with children, and those who had either never had children or whose children were grown and living elsewhere. Apparently a couple of people (childless) had expressed the desire to have quiet time in church be truly quiet - "I come to church to pray, and the sound of children talking or laughing, or - worse still - crying, is a distraction to my communing with God."
    One mother approached me with a view to starting up a Sunday School to be held during church time, so the kids could be minded elsewhere and we could all take turns. I wasn't keen, because I knew I needed to be with my kids (and them with me). But the pressure was on us, so we did it - started up a Sunday School. The idea was, we would mind the kids and try to teach a little Sunday School curriculum as well, until someone came and told us church was finished, at which point we would go and join our families.
    And wouldn't you know it - more often than not, nobody would come and get us! Lunch would be served after church and there were even times when we missed lunch, because nobody came and got us!

    My view on this now - God can commune with us at any time. This is life. Life is not always tranquil to order. You can't order God, you can't order life, to your own specifications. If you want total tranquility, then go join a cloistered religious order.

    As for the plane - we never got chucked off, but we have had similar things happen because of the airline staff doing the wrong thing.
    It was 20 years ago, we were flying across Australia (a long flight). The kids were very young - 5, almost 4 and 14 months. When we booked the plane tickets we had specified two children's meals. Babies under 2 were not catered for, but I was fairly sure I'd be able to slip easy child 2/difficult child 2 some food from the sibling's plates as well as a tin of baby food I had in my bag. She was also still breast-fed, so I knew she wouldn't starve.
    We had also been told that the kids would be given their meals separately.
    Because the baby was under 2, she did not have her own seat. She was on my lap. And she was an active, inquisitive little thing.

    We were sitting in a block of four seats, two in front of the other two. husband & I had a kid each, sitting beside us. I had the baby.
    They brought us all the meals all at once. The baby made a grab for everything within reach. I stood up fast, to get the baby OUT of reach. The stewardess got angry with me for standing in the aisle. I was initially polite, trying to explain how hard it is to supervise a pre-schooler's meal while still preventing the baby from causing mayhem, but they didn't seem to care, so I finally said, "It's me with the baby in the aisle, or it's you cleaning up thrown food and orange juice. Your choice."

    husband meanwhile stepped in to hep and supervise the other two. To do this, he had to go back and forth in the aisle. They got cranky with him. He was less patient than me - he said, "You were supposed to bring the meals separately, so we could handle this. Now you have to put up with us doing our best to prevent accidents."
    husband was carefully sorting the food into things that could be held until later (such as sealed orange juice "DO NOT OPEN THAT JUICE, easy child!") and what had to be eaten fast, before I could sit down again with difficult child 1. difficult child 1 still needed help being fed, too.
    And it is very hard to do this, to stand up and help your kids, when your own tray table is down and your meal is on it - that is why husband had to slide in and out of his seat very carefully.

    By this point I had retired in tears to the back of the plane. I was hungry, easy child 2/difficult child 2 was hungry and wanted food - she had seen it delivered and I had taken her away from it and she was outraged. I was jiggling her on my hip to quieten her and getting glared at by the stewardesses. WHen I saw the coast clear enough (no trolley in the aisle) I dashed back to my seat to grab a mouthful of something and shoved something else at the baby, for her to eat. Then the trolley came back down the aisle again - they were selling soft drinks. Again I got yelled at and told to sit down. Again I said, "Don't be ridiculous - why aren't you helping?"

    Then the trolley went down again, collecting trays - mine hadn't been touched and the kids were still struggling, with only one parent to help both of them - and the stewardesses were cranky because we were so slow! husband twice saved trays from being removed.
    Finally I had enough of a break from trolleys in the aisles and was able to spend more time standing by my seat and eating my lunch. As soon as he could husband took the baby from me and stood up the back. I ate my lunch and hopped between the seat rows to help the older two kids, and finally they had eaten all they wanted. I had saved a spoon and the sealed food items, to feed the baby when husband got back. At last we let the trays get taken, the tray tables went up and I could now sit and feed the baby properly.
    husband brought her back and slid into his seat. I fed the baby the tin of baby food and followed it with some jelly saved from my tray. I was still very upset - at no point had any of the cabin crew offered to hold the baby while we fed the other kids, but they HAD been making my life a misery over the risk of food throwing that the other passengers risked, just by being near us with "uncontrolled kids".

    It wasn't until we got home form the exhausting trip, that I felt in my pocket and found I still had the airline spoon. They were metal in those days. They switched to plastic a few years later, and since then that airline went bust (I wonder why?).

    I wrote a letter of complaint which never even received an acknowledgement. We never flew with that airline again. What really cheesed me off - their ads would show the stewardesses being kind to small children, and helping mothers who were struggling like I had been.

    So much for truth in advertising.

    Let me make it clear - we've flown a number of times, with young kids, and not had hassles like this before or since.

    So it wasn't us. Airlines are supposed to be trained to handle this sort of situation routinely. And my kids were not difficult child back then, not enough to be a problem.

    Imagine what it would have been like if any of my kids had been profoundly autistic, stimming?

    We have had problems going by train to Melbourne, problems aggravated by difficult child 3's autism and phobias. I was getting yelled at by a train official because difficult child 3 was desperate to go to the toilet, but scared of the noise in the toilet cubicle and would chicken out, then within fifteen minutes desperation would drive him to ask to be taken there again. The toilet we were supposed to use was in the first class section, and we were travelling economy. The train official accused us of trying to illicitly switch to first class and using difficult child 3 as an excuse.
    I found out afterwards, if we'd notified them of his autism and my physical disability at time of booking we'd have been given an automatic free upgrade to first class anyway.

    It seems that the attitude in so many places (I noticed it in some of the responses to the article on the mother & child being thrown off the plane, too) is that people with disabilities and noisy children, and anyone others who make people feel uncomfortable or off balance, should be "put in a special place just for them." It's said with the kindest of voices, but the intent is "out of sight, out of mind" and a relegation to second class citizen.

    We have not had any such problems in non-English-speaking travel.