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Anything is Possible if you Dare to Dream

April 10, 2008

There is no fury like a Special Needs Mother . . .

whose child is denied access or turned away do to his/her disability.

Whether the child's disability is highly visible or not, there is nothing worse than being asked to leave a restaurant, play place or other commercial establishment, merely because they cannot accomodate your child's special needs.

For the first few years of our son's life, we avoided birthday parties and play dates, because of his food allergies. We didn't feel that it was fair to expose our son to birthday cake and pizza etc . . . when he could not eat them.

During the past two years, however, we have gradually learned that it's okay to take him out. We just bring his food with us and bring him a sweet treat in lieu of the cake.

Sometimes we get funny looks from the waiters when we order our own food and I either take his homemade food out of his bag or give him a GFCF Happy Meal (plain burger with plain apples). Once we explain his allergies, they are usually very helpful and understanding.

Today, I ran up against a brick wall. . .

a manager at Chuck-E-Cheese, who refused to allow us to bring in our son's GFCF Happy Meal, even without the bag, so that he could eat dinner with his friends during his own 6th birthday party. Never mind that we spent BIG BUCKS on tokens and food for everyone else. Our son had to leave the party and go out to our car to eat his dinner.

When I explained his allergies to the manager, he was unsympathetic and said that everyone would start claiming food allergies just so they could bring in their own food. I think not.
No one wants to be allergic to half the food on the planet.

I'm very grateful that my son was so hungry by that point that he didn't think twice about going outside to eat. Most 6-year-olds would have thrown a fit. I would like to say that next time I go there, they will be more accomodating, but it's going to be a very cold day before we go back.


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