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Closing The Door To A Tolerant Society

| Working | December 25, 2015

(It is close to Christmas. My six-year-old brother has recently been diagnosed as severely autistic. At this point he is unable to walk in public so Mum is given an adapted pram for disabled children; these are very obvious. They are riding home on the train one day when Mum notices a worker glaring at her and my brother. Despite his very obvious disability my brother is being well-behaved and non-disruptive so my mother can’t work out what the man is glaring at. Soon she reaches their stop and the worker opens the door to let the passengers off. He continues to glare as mum wheels my brother towards the door. He slams the door shut in her face.)

Mum: *outraged* “Excuse me! Get that door open!”

Worker: “It’s not my fault you’re as slow as he is!” *points at brother* “You’ll just have to get out at the next stop. Now back off!”

(Another passenger speaks up.)

Passenger: “What the h***’s wrong with you?! Don’t you think she’s had a hard enough day already? Open that door NOW before—”

Worker: “God, fine!”

(He opens the door. Mum gets off just in time. She approaches another member of staff to ask how to lodge a complaint and is directed to an office. The employee there is absolutely astounded by mum’s complaint and takes her phone number. He calls her later that evening.)

Employee: “This is a very serious accusation. If you take it further we’ll have to sack the worker responsible. Do you want to do this?”

Mum: “Yes.”

(Sure enough the next time mum got on the train that worker was nowhere to be seen. I hope the a***-hole enjoyed explaining that one to his family. I also hope that passenger had a wonderful Christmas.)

This story is part of our Autism roundup!

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