Reddit user petitpoupee was at a nice cafe when an autistic kid approached them and asked them to move because it was his "special spot." Despite the mother's request, the user was adamant and did not leave his seat.
Autism, also known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological variation that occurs in about one percent of the population and is classified as a developmental disability, according to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. This can include different sensory experiences, non-standard approach to problem-solving, repetitive movements or patterns, need for routine, deep focus, and sometimes difficulty in understanding and expressing typical social interaction as well as typical communication. Taking to the AmItheA**hole subreddit, user u/petitpoupee shared her recent experience with an autistic kid.
She wrote: Okay so a few days ago i went to a nice cafe with my friend. We decided to sit in a corner that was close enough to the bar. We didn’t even took our jacket off yet and a young teenager (13 or something?) came towards us.
“I always sit there.” -“Oh well... it won’t bother you if you sat somewhere else wouldn’t it?” The kid suddenly starts screaming for his mother and she came ASAP. The kid told her in tears that we ‘stole’ his favorite place and pushed him away while doing so (we didn’t even touched him). His mother comforted him and told us with a painfully forced smile that they always sat there since he was a baby and that it was ‘their special spot’. I politely told her that i wasn’t planning on moving since we had this table first. The kid starts screaming, letting himself fall on the floor while his mother started to yell at us for being ‘rude and unreasonable people’ and that her son is autistic and doesn’t likes changes. People were now looking at us and quickly the manager came. They clearly knew each other and the mother started to say that they were loyal customers, coming every 2 Friday nights since the birth of her son and that she wouldn’t be throwing a fit if the manager didn’t just banned all those rude young people. The dad just stood there and glared a bit at us but that’s it. After a couple of minutes they left while pulling the kid out of the place. My friend told me that we just had to move to another table to avoid such thing since autistic kids/people will get frustrated if things don’t go their way. Edit: The place was already full and the only tables that were free still had dirty plates on it.
I completely disapprove this Redditor's behavior and here are the reasons. First of all, would changing her table bother her as much as it does the kid? As I've mentioned earlier, some kids with autism exhibit repetitive behaviors and any slight change in their day-to-day activity can cause them anxiety. So, petitpoupee could have simply moved to another table allowing the kid and his family to have a good time. I mean how hard is it to show some humanity?
Secondly, despite the mother sharing a personal fact that it was "their special spot" the user didn't seem to hesitate before denying them. I'm sure the kid's parents are trying their best to care for him and requesting strangers to show them some leniency is definitely not a big ask, in my opinion. I'm not saying that the mother's behavior towards them is justified, but I can surely understand where she's coming from. Finally, using an excuse like "only tables that were free still had dirty plates on it" makes no sense. I'm sure, the waiters would have cleared them as soon as they were notified. Instead of making a fuss about this, the Redditor could have allowed the parents to have a quiet night, after all, even they are under a lot of stress.
I agree that petitpoupee was not obligated to change her seat, but that's where kindness comes in. One selfless act would have been enough to resolve the whole thing, so why not take the higher road? Well, this is just my opinion, here' what other Redditors thought:
One user, @merlotmystery wrote: Being an asshole doesn't mean you're legally in the wrong or you don't have cold logic on your side. But a stressed-out mother of an autistic kid politely (initially) asked you for an easy favor and you responded haughtily. Her reaction after your refusal was not appropriate either. ESH. Another @Ambartenen wrote: Cheers! I agree completely. Of course they were not obligated to, but it would have been a small kindness that would have helped a stranger out while barely impacting OP's life. I try to do small things like this whenever I can. There is so much shit and hate around us, and I am never going to cure a disease or have millions to donate, but fuck it, I try to do the little things where I can.