If you have read this before then you’ll be aware that I have a son who has high functioning autistic spectrum disorder, some people call it Aspergers.
Anyway, we hardly ever go out for lunch with my son these days because it can be a minefield of things waiting to go wrong. He has food issues and cannot cope with having things he doesn’t like on his plate. This is particularly difficult when on holiday and you say to the waiter something like “could we have the chicken dippers, on their own please, nothing else on the plate”.
That somehow gets lost in translation and the waiter appears with full salad garnish, resulting in our son running away from the restaurant and refusing to go back there because “they are stupid” and they should know he doesn’t like salad.
Another example is when we ask for a drink to come with nothing in it, no ice, no slice of orange and ideally with a green straw (or whatever phase of colour preference he’s going through!). Inevitably, it will appear with a slice of lemon, ice and a pink straw, which results in the drink sometimes being knocked over and him running away from the restaurant because “they are stupid”.
Before we had children, we loved eating out, having a starter and taking time to enjoy our meal and a nice bottle of wine. ....These days we are lucky if we get past the bread rolls before an incident occurs.
On another related restaurant story, my wife and her mother were out to lunch with the kids a while back.
One of the traits that many people with
ASD have is that they are very literal and have little or no concept of other peoples’ feelings, to the extent they will say things that are true which those of us blessed with social tact would not.
For example, “Do you like my new dress?” could be answered with “No, the colour doesn’t suit you and it makes you look lumpy”
(Actually, I think I will start using that as my default response every time my wife asks if something suits her!)
Anyway, this large, actually obese person comes into the restaurant and our son says quite loudly “check the size of that man over there, he’s huge”. Luckily, no one really picked up on what was said.
Slightly flustered, in fact a lot flustered, my wife asks him not to say that again to which my son replies at the top of his voice “ok, but he’s massive. I’ve never seen anyone so fat” …………just as the gentleman sits down at the table next to them.
What is it they say in showbiz? – Never work with children and animals.