19 December 2013
Mother blasts pub over 'autism discrimination'
A mother of three autistic triplets claims one of her sons was discriminated against at a pub in Glasgow.
Tracy Steell, 46, booked a table at The Griffin pub on Bath Street in Glasgow before a pantomime performance of Aladdin, which she and her sons were due to see, reports the Glasgow Evening Times.
After she arrived at 6pm - despite asking for a table in the dining area - she was asked if she would not mind instead sitting in the bar area. The woman explained to a waitress that this would not be a suitable arrangement due to her sons' disabilities.
In response to this, the waitress allegedly said Tracy should have warned her staff before bringing "someone like that" to the pub.
This was in reference to the 46-year-old's son Bobby, who is described as being "more obviously autistic than his brothers" by his mother. Ms Steell called the situation "humiliating" and "clearly discriminatory".
However, management at the bar claim the waitress does not speak English as a first language and stated she may have "fumbled her words".
The family then went on to eat elsewhere and when Ms Steell returned home later, she posted a review on travel website Tripadvisor that outlined her disappointment at the service she received.
In response to this, Robert Mullen, who said he was The Griffin's public relations manager, left this comment: "Whilst trying to rid myself of my ignorance about autism I read this on the autism research website - 'a person with autism may find certain background sounds, which other people ignore or block out, unbearably loud or distracting.'
"It's The Griffin at 6pm on a Friday in December? Poor lad."
Ms Steell called this comment "condescending" and was enraged about the way she has been treated by the pub.
Robert MacBean, policy and campaigns officer at the National Autistic Society of Scotland, told the Glasgow Evening Times that despite recent improvements in awareness of the disability, not every business is not properly versed in sensitivity.
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