Time for another politically incorrect post, I have been wanting to blog about this and how I feel about it but never gotten my mind to it. Then I ran into another blog I was linked to from another forum Wrongplanet and it’s unPC according to the blogger and I have been enjoying it so far and she sometimes blogs about being aspie. I decided I better do another unPC post.
On May 5th, a Tigard family was kicked off the plane due to “fear of autism.” The mother decided to sue the airline company but she doesn’t want money, she wants more autism awareness. There are a bunch of articles about this incident (google family kicked off plane due to autism). I saw the headline and felt skeptical because what is there to fear? If the family was truly kicked off because a child is autistic, then that is awful. But I was reading one of the articles and there I saw it. The mom said her daughter may try and scratch. Yes that was a trigger word for me because I don’t take kindly to violence. The mom had basically threatened the crew that if she didn’t get her hot steaming meal, she would try and scratch. I am sure she just got frustrated because she didn’t want her daughter to have a meltdown and then start crying disturbing other passengers and the possibility of someone getting scratched by her. I am a parent so I get that no parent wants to deal with any meltdowns, whining, etc. especially if they have autism. I am sure the mother got frustrated so she had a meltdown herself and said “maybe when she has a meltdown and starts to cry and try and scratch, then maybe you will help her.” So her daughter got her food and then they heard the captain’s announcement that they were doing a emergency landing due to someone having a behavior issue in the back. The parents didn’t know it was them they were being referred to because they weren’t in the back, they were in the front behind first class I assume since they were in economy. They landed in Salt Lake City and the police arrived on the plane and asked questions and saw no one was hurt and the daughter had been fine, she was watching a movie in her chair being all quiet. The passengers didn’t feel threatened by her and had no issues with the girl. She was howling for a while until she got her food according to one passenger. I don’t feel like doing a long blog about all this so I will leave all the details in a search engine.
This made worldwide news I found out and this discussion had popped up all over Facebook and on Wrongplanet in two sections and people are calling it discrimination but I don’t think it was so I posted my unpopular opinion that I think they were kicked off because the mom threatened them. Everyone has a right to a safe environment and it’s the pilot’s job to ensure all his passengers are safe and the mom had just told them her daughter may scratch. That is perceived as a threat so they removed the family. I figured this had to do with liability and for safety of other passengers and what happened if the girl did scratch someone, that person could sue the airline company because the pilot failed to ignore the mom’s warning. I saw in another article that the mom told KOIN local news that her daughter may scratch others and I saw in another article that she may scratch others and has before sometimes. I am sure the mom didn’t want to take that chance on the plane so she told them that and it got perceived as a threat. But not everyone in the autism community will see this and it’s not rocket science to understand. Instead they want to continue seeing it as they were kicked off due to autism and this one member on the forum wants to believe that the KOIN local news blog is saying the mom told KOIN local news that her daughter may scratch someone appears heavily biased, for people that want to support the idea that it wasn’t discrimination.
I don’t think the mother will win because the pilot did his job and according to this person
if that is how airlines really work that they make enough food for how many passenger are on board and will only have extra if someone refused their meal, then I don’t think the mother will win because the airline crew were following the rules and the mother didn’t call them ahead of time about her daughter’s special needs of needing hot steaming food. She said this was the first time they ever had a problem and her daughter refused to eat back at the Houston airport and I think next time she should call the airline company ahead of time for in case her daughter refuses her food again before boarding or see if they can microwave any food for them she brings on the plane for her. Otherwise it might come down to airline companies doing this:
“Attention all passengers, it has come to my attention from the fight staff that we have been informed by a parent that her kid may scratch if she gets too upset so we will not be responsible for any assault and injuries. If you don’t feel comfortable flying, you are free to step off the plane and we will book you another flight and give you a free meal and first class.”
Even if she does win, I still shouldn’t be surprised because this is America where crazy lawsuits happen and I have heard of people winning bogus lawsuits they did so hence all these crazy warnings we have and places having to tell us information and gives us warnings before they do a procedure or before everyone jumps off a plane to skydive. I remember when my husband and I got our son his cool swing set with a built in fort/playhouse, the manual told us how to play on the equipment so it said things like; don’t climb up the slide, slide with feet down, don’t slide with head down, don’t swing standing, etc. and my mom asked me “You do know what it really means don’t you?” and I said they were just warnings and they don’t want you doing that and how they want you to play and she said why do I think they have it there and I said they did it for lawsuits. I knew these were not rules, they were just there for liability so they wouldn’t get sued by greedy parents because little Billy fell off the swing and broke his arm because he was standing instead of sitting as he swung. I was just reading those “rules” to my mom because I found them amusing and that was when she said it.
I am also not the only person with an ASD who feels this way about the incident. I don’t blame the girl and I don’t think she did anything wrong, it was the mother and it was her and her little outburst that got them kicked off, not the autism. The one thing that grinds my gears is why are people on the spectrum glossing over the mother saying her daughter may scratch? Instead they want to keep calling it discrimination as if other people have no right to be safe if you’re autistic and you have the tendency to lash out at people. Perhaps they are uncomfortable with the truth. It feels like I am talking to a brick wall I want to hit my head against it. I have to wonder are these people really dense or are they just trolling after I have pointed out why they were kicked off?