An enraged family reported that they were asked to leave a restaurant and take their food instead because their son, who has autism, was “too loud”.
Jennifer Gumansing, 36, decided to book a two-night getaway with her four-and-a-half-year-old son and cousin earlier this month.
Jennifer, however, said she felt angry and embarrassed when staff at Cantonese restaurant Kam Sang in Scarborough asked her to leave while she was having dinner because her son “was too loud”.
Her son has autism and also suffers from sensory overload, which means he has trouble sitting or concentrating for long periods of time, Yorkshire Live reports.
The family ended up munching on a takeout on an outdoor bench after claiming they had been told to leave.
Jennifer, from Leeds, said: “We were in a hotel where you couldn’t take food to your room.
“So we decided to go out and find a Chinese restaurant so we could sit down and have a good meal together.
“We found Kam Sang and a member of staff told us that we could have a one and a half hour slot to have our meal, which we agreed to.
“She showed us to our table and we looked at the menu and I pulled out the tablet for my son.
“He’s autistic and also suffers from sensory overload, so I set up the tablet to entertain him or he would just be running.
“I turned the volume down but there were tables quite close to us. He likes to sing everything he watches, because that’s what makes him happy.
“I kept telling him to reduce the noise on his tablet and his voice, but he wasn’t screaming or whatever he was just singing on his tablet.
“He was pretty happy in himself.
It was then that Jennifer claims she saw staff members guarding her table as the family still waited to order their food.
She said: “A member of staff came up to us and said ‘your child is very noisy’ and I explained that he was autistic and that he did not understand and that I told him to lower his voice. .
“The lady then said take your food. I said no, we will not take our food because we have come here to sit and eat a good meal, as we cannot eat in our hotel room. .
“This is the first time that I have approached like this and I felt really angry and embarrassed.
“I said we weren’t going to have our food so we just decided to leave.”
Jennifer and her family ended up buying a takeout from another location and sat down to eat it on a bench because they couldn’t get it back to the hotel room.
She says she has visited Scarborough several times before and has never experienced this before.
She said: “We felt really angry and embarrassed and all kinds of stuff really.
“It made me fear going out to eat in the future with my son, I’m so glad I had my cousin with me that day.
“After becoming a mother of a child with autism, it made me an advocate for anyone with a child with autism.
“There needs to be more understanding around the topic and more support for families so they don’t have to go through experiences like this.”
Cantonese restaurant owner Kam Sang says they didn’t ask them to leave, but rather calmed the baby.
They said, “The baby kept crying and at the end we had a complaint from a customer.
“I didn’t ask them to leave, but instead I asked them to calm the baby down.
The customer screamed and said ‘If you don’t like me I’ll leave’ and she grabbed the baby and left the restaurant.
“I was shocked. She didn’t explain to me what condition the child was in. She was just very angry.
“She sat staring at the menu for 15 minutes and the baby never stopped screaming.
“It looked like a normal baby and I treated it like I would a normal baby.”
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