Restaurant “No Screaming Child” Policy Ignites Autism Community, North Carolina

Photo by: mdanys/Flickr

The owner of Olde Salty’s Restaurant in North Carolina is being heavily criticized by the autism community for one of her recently introduced policies.  Owner Brenda Armes put a sign up that states “Screaming Children Will Not Be Tolerated.”

Obviously, this creates a major problem for parents of children with autism and other disorders, where children may enter a screaming fit.  One mother, Kelly Chambliss, is taking a stand.  She says that this is downright discrimination” against her child who has no control over his occasional noisy outbursts.

“I will be my son’s voice. Just like Rosa Parks. I’m not getting out of my seat,” says Chambliss.

Chambliss approached Armes three weeks ago about the sign, initially believing that the restaurant had put up the sign as a joke.  Upon learning that the sign was not a joke in any sense, Chambliss expressed to Armes that she thought it was unfair to single her child out.  Armes in turn, looked at Chambliss and said “I can’t believe you even take him in public. You must be the only one who does.

Chambliss is arguing that this type of behavior is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Armes said, “I don’t understand why she would be offended with the sign to start with. Just because mother nature gave her an autistic child or G-d, it’s something she has to deal with… and I think she’s really upset because that’s what she was handed in life and I feel sorry for her. That’s her problem. Sorry.”

Armes later explained that the “Screaming Children Will Not Be Toleratedmeans that parents will be asked to take their child outside of the restaurant until they are calm, and not completely ejected.

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