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A Restaurant Manager's Letter to a Family with a Child on the Spectrum

This post was written by Tony Posnanski, who founded the website Tony has been a restaurant manager for the past 15 years. He posted a letter on his site called ""To The Woman And Child Who Sat At Table Nine…" addressed to a mother and her daughter who is on the autism spectrum. In the letter he writes:

Photo licensed under CC 2.0. Rights reserved to Victor Casale

I started to walk to your table. You knew what I was going to ask. You saw the table I just spoke to pointing at you. I got to your table and you looked at me. You wanted the first word. You said…

“Do you know what it is like to have a child with Autism?”

I know what I was supposed to say when I went to your table. I was supposed to politely tell you to please not have your daughter yell. I was supposed to offer to move you to another area. I was supposed to offend you by not offending you…

I did not do any of that.

Instead I just told you I hoped your meal was awesome. I high fived your daughter and then I told you that your meal was on us tonight. It was only sixteen dollars. It meant more to me than that. I do not think the other guests I spoke to were happy about it. At that moment it did not matter to me.

You can read the full letter at here.

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.