Autistic girl and her family are kicked off an United Airlines Flight...
It's been three days and all I keep seeing in my social media news feed is this story. (And if you are following this blog, you probably know about it. If not, Google. You're on the Internet anyway.)
I've read the story on a few different sites. Even some of the comments because I frequently make very poor choices with my sanity. Scan a few blogs written up over. Tried to figure out the whole story. We all know there are three sides to it. The moms, the airlines, and what really happened. Here are my thoughts on it in no particular order.
1) To those screaming for this Mom to have planned better, SHUT UP. You can plan an event (One they have done many times before too.) ten ways to Sunday and it can all still go to Hell. You can have every effing thing your kid usually wants with you and it still won't be what they want or more importantly need at that moment. You have no idea what you would have done because it was not you in that moment.
2) To the airline, I get it. It's a post 9/11, Malaysian airplane disappearance, German airplane crash into the mountains world we are in. We have to take our shoes off to be screen before even boarding a plane. High alert doesn't even begin to describe it. An employee was told a passenger had the potential to lash out and possibly harm themselves or those around them. She felt she was doing her job by following her training.
3) To the mom, Girl, I feel you but airplanes don't have kitchens and rarely "extras" on anything. They charge you extra if your bag weighs too much. (Which you gladly pay because you are an autism mom and you know all the stuff your kid needs on a trip.) Every freaking thing on that plane is calculated down to the very last ounce of rubber chicken Marsala.
4) To the flight attendant doing her job, I know you saw not a little kid but a fifteen year old young woman and yes a scratch from her WOULD hurt. You had no extras to give but would have killed you to ask what else could be done? Maybe offer to microwave the meal she did have? Even if it was just a sandwich. I have been known to make shit up as I go all the time with my kid when he's on the verge of a meltdown. I would of opened that sandwich up, poured on some ketchup packets and called it a hot opened face sammi. Did you offer fries? That's my usual go to.
5) To the Mom again, you got "real" with them. I get it. I don't daisy step around the words meltdown either when I see one coming. You flat out told them what was going to go down. Would I have opened with that? I don't know. Not my kid. You only know yours. I only know mine. If there were no extras to give, what else could that employee done? Did you ask? Did you tell her?
6) To that flight attendant again. Did you try and talk to mom about solutions? Did you ask your co workers for help? Ideas? Did it ever occur to you that when you saw the young with autism a bit later quietly sitting there that maybe things were okay and you should just check in with the mom? How are things? Good? Okay. There's a call button. Let me know. I'll be back later. Then you update the pilot that everything is calm.
7) To the pilot, I don't really blame you at all in this because you were flying the damn freaking plane. You weren't back there. You didn't see what was going on. You were busy flying the plane. I know for myself, I want your attention on that. I have no idea what was told to you either. You followed your training. You made the call based on what you knew.
8) To the media, STOP USING AUTISM AS YOUR CLICK BAIT! I see thousands of stories that are just fuel to the fire. You just light a match and let that righteous indignation burn. What does that do? Don't tell me it's raising awareness. All I see is it's raising blood pressures and rage. More stories about change and doing as opposed to just this. Will you follow this up? Will you report on what's being done to prevent this in the future? Don't just make this a single shot to spike up your online site traffic. Great, you got every one's attention but now what are you going to do with it???
9) To the entire INTERNET, you know, sometimes you are the reason we can't have nice things. Like the Internet. I have made fantastic online friends. Gotten gobs of support in the dire times I have need it online. I have learned more information on a variety of subjects that I never would have had the opportunity otherwise. I just can't quit you but dammit there are days I don't like you very much. "Scroll on" is my mantra when I see stuff like this. I don't have to comment on every article or make a statement. I can just move on. If you must though, READ THE ARTICLE!!! Writers are so very happy when their work is seen past a headline.
10) I don't really have a tenth thought on this but I hated leaving it off at nine. Feel free to leave comments why that is wrong, probably Obama's fault and that I am going to Hell if I do not accept the Deity of your choice as my personal savior.