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Autistic Boy and Mom Kicked Off Flight

Welcome to the no-so-friendly skies. Here is an astonishing story about kids and their moms getting kicked off the plane for being unruly.

Two-year-old autistic toddler Jarret Farrell wasn't a happy traveler - and nothing his mom tried to calm him down worked. And what did the airline do? They kicked them both off the plane!

"[The flight attendant] kept coming over and tugging his seatbelt to make it tighter, 'This has to stay tight.' And then he was wiggling around and trying to get out of his seatbelt. And she kept coming over and reprimanding him and yelling at him" Farrell told ABC News' Raleigh-Durham affiliate WTVD.

Farrell said that a pilot came into to the cabin and told Jarret, "You have to get in your seat, young man." Farrell said she started crying then, which just exacerbated Jarret's behavior. "He just melted down. He saw me getting upset. He was upset. He was on the floor rolling around," Farrell told WTVD.

That's when the pilot turned the plane around and headed back to the terminal, where Farrell and her son were escorted off the plane.

Link (with video)


Serves them right, its about time that airlines took control of unruly kids. Public transportation is not a right, its a service. If parents can't control their offspring, then they should find private transportation.
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Why does it matter if this kid is autistic or not? It is a danger to everyone on the plane if someone is running around unruly. It sounds like the crew tried their best to try and manage the situation while the mother did nothing. No one is entitled to fly. This woman in effect was holding a whole plane hostage. I hope they fine her as they would anyone whos actions caused a plane to return to the airport.
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This is ridiculous. I'm sure it annoyed the other passengers but it's a minor inconvenience compared to having to return to the airport. How is a two year old child any kind of flight risk? If he was sixteen and getting violent then I could accept that the kid was endangering the passengers but how the heck is a tantrum hurting anyone?
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The reason why it matters that the child is autistic is because he doesn't know better. Any other child could have been soothed, or perhaps would have felt better having been fed/changed/etc. An autistic child doesn't have the tools to understand things that would be commonplace to us. Perhaps air travel was not the best choice for this mother, but its hardly her or the child's fault.
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"Farrell said that had the flight crew been more patient and understanding, the situation might not have escalated."

If they'd been more patient and understanding? Sheesh, it's not YOUR plane, it's a plane with like hundreds of people who need to get somewhere on time. If you have an autistic kid, then it's your responsibility to prepare the flight attendants, to prepare the pilot, to get a seat that's as far away from people as possible, and to NOT CRY if you know it's going to set your kid off.
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For anyone with the kneejerk "not the mom's fault" reaction, I have this to say:

Would you be saying the same thing if the kid didn't have some overdiagnosed, pop-psychology disorder? Let's say the kid had just been an ass, just like many other kids that age. It doesn't matter if the kid or his mom have a convenient excuse for his behavior, they still broke the rules. If she can't control him in public places, he needs to be restricted to private transportation.
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As the parent of an autistic child, I empathize with the mother, but the pilot was absolutely correct to have them escorted off of the plane.

The child's reactions to his environment were a clear sign that he was uncomfortable, upset and possibly frightened. Had the pilot taken continued with the flight, the situation could have degraded to the point where the child had a complete melt-down and injured himself or someone else.

The pilot has a schedule to keep. The mother and child can take another flight after the child has calmed himself.
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He's 2 years old. How much of a difference would autism really make in trying to settle him down at that age? (No, really, how tame are 2 year olds in general?)

Either way, I support giving screaming children the boot from airplanes.
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It doesn't matter in the slightest if the child is autistic, or has any other disorder for that matter. It not being "his fault" has nothing to do with it. A certain basic level of behavior is required in order to be allowed to use this form of transportation. If you cannot meet that basic level you should not be using that form of transportation.
By that logic we should be giving drivers licenses to the blind. After all it isn't their fault, and they have to get around too.
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erikerikerikerik has it right. Parents, regardless of the child's condition, must know how to prepare and deal with a know problem. If not, then sorry, bye bye.

I have a wife that gets anxiety attacks. I have to call the airline to work with them on seating arrangements and special requests. If my wife wigs out, then we miss the flight. Folks need to think about the other 100 people on the flight that mind the rules.
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We're just hearing one side of this of course, but to me it sounds like they should have been more polite about kicking them off the plane. "How about we just book you guys on a later flight so he has a chance to get this out of his system, mm-kay?" I hope this kid's mom can have a discussion with their pediatrician about safe ways to help them fly again if they need to do so - there's got to be some kid-friendly Valium that's safe for occasional use.
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It is a federal crime for the plane to take off with any passengers not properly belted in to their seats. This is for the safety of *everyone*. If they had hit something on the runway and kid had been injured by, say, thumping his head on the base of a seat, the cunt would be suing the airline for a billion dollars.

The only amazing thing is that the airline did the right thing.

Yeah, the kid's autistic. That means he *can't* *do* *something* *things* that normal people can do. One of them is obviously ride on an airline.

The woman should be charged with endangering the kid's welfare, the kid put in a home than can handle his needs, and the woman put in prison.
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pffft look, it's a safety issue. the pilot can't leave the tarmac if the mother can't keep the seatbelt on the kid. lots of kids will unbuckle the belts and throw hissy fits in the aisles, but it's up to the mother to make sure that the child remains calm and doesn't get out of his seat and potentially injure himself. she was absolutely not calm, she was crying because her kid was misbehaving and the pilot had to intervene. the kid was reacting to the mother's behavior and therefore she deserved to get kicked off the plane. the fact that he is autistic is not an acceptable excuse.
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SenorMysterioso -

"Autism spectrum" is the new ADD. It's an excuse for parents who don't feel like taking responsibility for raising their children properly to blame everyone else for not treating their precious snowflake like a prince or princess. Adults who don't feel like conforming to social norms can self-diagnose themselves with Aspergers and *poof* they have a free license to stay at home and play video games or become bloggers.
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I know autistic kids can't help it, but the rights of one child shouldn't trump the rights of 100 (or more) other people. He was rolling around on the floor and screaming, for goodness sake!

If they had been allowed to stay on the plane, some other passenger might have lost it after being forced to listen to a screaming child for hours in an enclosed space. And that might not have ended well. Heck, if I'd been on that plane, I probably would have had a panic attack and begged to be let off. I can't stand listening to other people's children screaming.

With so many autism diagnoses these days, maybe they should just make "autism only" flights. Then they could take their trip and save the eardrums of the general public.
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My five year old son is autistic. He's completely non-verbal. In some situations he gets overwhelmed and frightened. We're very fortunate that he doesn't really have meltdowns like a lot of autistic kids do, but from time to time it's very difficult to have him in public and unfamiliar surroundings.

Autism is on the rise and we're discovering that many schools and even many doctors are ill-prepared to deal with it. I can't imagine that flight attendants are receiving any more training themselves.

With 1 out of 122 kids born every day being diagnosed with some form of autism, service industries are going to need to become informed and learn how to deal with these situations. That's just a fact of life.

Another fact of life is that the mother should have been better prepared for this. It would have been very easy for her to let her pediatrician know they were going to be flying soon and get some meds just for that occasion. Some parents don't like that, of course, but it's the reality of living with autism.

As for the “overdiagnosed, pop-psychology disorder” post....I really hope you're just confused and not typing with your head up your butt.
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bean, you're ignorant. Asperger's is a real disorder. I have a family member who has it, and he's not what you'd consider "normal".

You need to read something other than Kanner (or do you still think autism is caused by "refrigerator mothers"?).
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Parents have the responsibility to care for and control their kids.

Why take off with a situation that's already well out of hand?

Good call for the airline.
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I haven't flown in years, so my knowledge of FAA regulations is not up to date. However, I believe that the FAA recommends* that small children be in car seats for flights.

I can't help but think that this problem could have been prevented had the parents put their child in a FAA-approved 5-point harness car seat, one with which the child was already accustomed, and one that is harder to wriggle out of.

*Based on my reading, the FAA opted against making this a mandatory measure .. some poppycock about it being a deterrent against flying and an incentive to drive, which is more dangerous.
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Personally, I'm amazed that anyone doesn't believe in autism or asperger's.

I went to school with a kid that had no concept of social interaction, didn't use contractions, and often verbalized (correctly, I might add) his punctuation. You would ask him what's up, and he'd look up, as if there were something there. Every. Time.
People made fun of him all the time, but I actually hung out with him. He was brilliant. He was learning his 4th language in the 9th grade. Mandarin. He often asked what I thought about string theory and various other highly speculative fields of physics. I learned a lot from him, and I'm glad to have called him a friend. Sadly, he had no concept of friendship, and I was just Matthews comma Thomas to him.
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Man, the original post has so much spin. I'm glad to see the comments are much more realistic.

I've seen an autistic child just "lose it." It is a very dangerous situation because the child will just throw themselves and have a tantrum to the point that they WILL injure themselves. And they will not stop until the situation is changed. There is no way that flight would have worked out if the child was doing that at the beginning of that flight.

Also, as any other passenger on that plane, I would have probably requested they turn around anyway. The airline maed the right decision. The mother will need to learn that "special needs" children have ... special needs.
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In the late nineties to the first few years of the new millennium Americans clamored over attention deficit disorders. They needlessly medicated their kids and forced all sorts of pointless new politically correct practices on schools. Now today's parents can't keep using an old disorder like that - it's soooo nineties! So, let's usher in the age of autism. It is the over diagnosed, pop-psychology disorder of today's America.

Yes, there are real cases of autism out there. Just like there really are people out there with ADHD. But, if you were to take in all these media reports of parents screaming about unjust treatment of their "autistic" child, and the utter stupidity of the idea that one out of every hundred-twenty-two children are suffering from it, you'd have to assume there's something in our nations supply of air.

This boy was a possible danger on the plane and the crew and pilot did the responsible thing of having him removed. If the boy can't take being on a plane for whatever reason he certainly shouldn't be forced to endure what was apparently causing him great distress. If the pilot had to tell him that he had to be in his seat that means he WASN'T IN HIS SEAT! The plane can't take off unless all passengers are in their seats, with their belts on! IT'S A SAFETY STANDARD!

Had the plane taken off while the boy wasn't seated he could have been seriously hurt. If a minor accident had occurred and he hadn't been belted into his seat, a big scare and a little bump would have turned into a potentially life-threatening injury. And who would Mom have blamed? Certainly not herself. Not her fault for bringing a child onto a plane who maybe shouldn't be there. Not her fault she felt he should be free-range on a plane and was hurt as a result of disobeying safety instructions. Odds are on Mom would hire a lawyer and sue those nasty plane people for allowing her son to get hurt, or worse - killed. A few million will replace an autistic boy nicely won't it Mom?

Mom had no right to expect a few hundred-thousand people to be delayed while her son "adjusted" to his surroundings. It's not just one flight that gets delayed, it's every flight that plane makes for the day. All those people with connections would miss flights, or those flights are held up to allow them to catch it but then they're delayed and behind schedule for the day, etc., etc., etc. Do you see the picture? Do you want to be held up and possibly miss a flight because some kid wasn't ready for a plane?

I know we love to hate the air industry nowadays. It's fun to bitch and rant and rave about the lack of common sense and intelligence displayed by the industry. But not every Mom and kid kicked off the flight are poor innocents at the hands of cruel child-eating monsters. Some of the kids just have really ignorant mothers who don't care about their safety.
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Woah, Goober and Bean. That was just hateful. There is no excuse for the shit you just said.

It is clear that you have no clue what Autism even IS. If you insist on having an opinion about how to raise a child with Autism the least you can do is educate yourself.
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I feel half the people posting here are totally ignorant and are making massive assumptions. I worked with autistic children for 6 years. If you think it has ANYTHING to do with parenting styles, you're an idiot. It is nothing like plain ADHD and most kids with autism also have ADHD.

Sometimes, there just really is nothing you can do about an autistic child having a tantrum. There are times when they will be happy and fine doing something 99% of the time and then just one time, they will go berserk and scream bloody murder. It can be entirely unprovoked and unpredictable. Autism is also a spectrum disorder. One kid with autism may never tantrum, while another tantrums 10 times an hour.

Can they be dangerous? Yes, I have the scars to prove it. But our program still took over 2 dozen severely autistic kids out in the community nearly everyday. We've had violent outbursts in malls, parks, carnivals etc. Do you want to know how many times a bystander ever got hurt in my entire 6 years? Zero, never. Because we were trained to deal with them given any circumstance.

I myself, took a child on a plane to Disneyland as he was invited by Dreams Take Flight (program that takes disadvantaged kids to Disneyland for a day). He was fine on the flight there, but the flight back, he got out of his seatbelt, screamed, bit me etc. I used my training and dealt with him the best I could. You know what the flight attendant told me that day? She said "Thank you for doing what you do and being so brave. You're doing a wonderful job". That is an attitude people can choose to take.

On the other hand, I've been with an autistic girl who had a meltdown at a park, and a woman once told me "That child should not be allowed in public ever!". The girl had harmed noone. Just caused a scene. I wanted to punch the woman in the face. Because where does it end? These kids, who already have challenging lives in every aspect, need to be kept in cages? Would that work for the public? Would you be more comfortable never being exposed to the "non-normal" aspect of our species?

They wouldn't be ANY safer in a padded room than out in public, and they really do enjoy being out in the community, believe me. Humanity includes ALL of us, even ones with broken minds that weren't born "normal". And they have every right to have an opportunity to do things everybody else does and we, who have been gifted with the ability to help them and handle them, WE should accommadate THEM, and not the other way around.

Those that parent or work with these kids, are trained to deal with them. Perhaps this woman had no idea what she was doing, which I hardly believe seeing as it was his mom. But I guarantee, in the end, this child would have done nothing to endanger this flight. He would have just been an annoyance. I've sat beside really fat people on flights, that's annoying too. I've sat beside drunk people. That's annoying. I've sat beside smelly people. That's annoying. You know what I do? I deal with it, because it just so happens that humans are not all just cookie cutter copies of perfection.
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My nephew is autistic. If he is overstimulated he WILL melt down, and I assure you that the very unfamiliar flight attendant and pilot reprimanding him helped to trigger that. THIS BEING SAID, his mother would have dealt with the way he is enough to KNOW it would cause him to become overstimulated and SHOULD have found another method of transportation. You adjust to the child's needs simply because you can't make them adjust to your own. The mother is as much to blame as the airline employees.
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Flawed article. It takes a safety of flight issue and transforms it into a medical/empowerment/victimization issue. As both an airline pilot and a registered nurse, the thinly-veiled charge that this airline is somehow stepping on the civil rights of this mother and child disturbs me. The crew simply could not legally take off with the child unbuckled and/or poorly supervised. The fact that there are those who want to ignore this and transform this incident into something it's not both offends and depresses me.
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@ GoShogun

This is not an issue about equality for all. Perhaps you understand what autistic children are and are not capable of on an individual basis because you have worked with them. But do you understand that the FAA has set down mandatory regulations regarding flight safety? A plane may not take off with passengers unbuckled and out of their seat.

IT IS A SAFETY RISK TO THE PERSON NOT WEARING A SEAT BELT DURING TAKE-OFF!

I've flown a lot, and my husband flies even more than I do (two to three times a week sometimes) and there are reasons for these requirements. How was that mother going to handle a frantic son during take-off? What if he had gotten out of his belt again in the middle of take-off and went tumbling down the aisle where he broke a bone or two or ended up concussed? This wasn't about inconvenience to other passengers with his tantrum, it was about his safety.

Equality means nothing if the person being made "equal" is thrust into a position that is potentially dangerous. The stewardess and the pilot did not tell the mother of the child to put her son into a cage in the basement and never let him see light of day again. They informed her he needed to stay in his seat with the belt on because compromising his safety was preventing the take off of the plane.
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see google news and search for marijuana, or search for marijuana denver airlines and you'll see they're trying to push to allow marijuana to be smoked on airlines (or at airports if not ON the airplane itself) perhaps this sort of thing wouldn't happen if people were STONED.

But big pharma and its pocket $$ protection agency screw us all.

And so alcohol and coffee remain the tolerated social drugs of choice, because America is ruled by tyrannical sexual dinosaurs.
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!NEWSFLASH!:If you have an autistic kid, or any unruly rug rat for that matter, get them hopped up on Benadryl before the flight. They'll be sleepy and compliant before you know it.

In this instance it's not the kids fault; it's the Mom's fault. She needs to learn how in the hell to take care of kids with special needs. This sounds like a weepy, bitter Mom who wants to play the victim. Woman up and take care of your kid! You're a discredit to your gender and Moms everywhere!
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Jennifer

They did have an alternative. I know this because I have been in the EXACT same situation on a plane, like I said. With an autistic child who was much older than 2. They did not yell at him, they did not tug on his seatbelt, I told them to give him space. They respected me, asked me what I needed if anything, moved us to a seat in the back corner of the plane. Case in point, they HELPED. It's a choice they made. The crew of this flight made the safe and right decisions, sure. But they could have HELPED and they chose not to.

And nobody can tell me that just because someone has autism, they don't have the right to a free pass like that. Because they do. They deserve more, because they've had more taken away from them by no choice of their own OR their parents in most cases.
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They did the right thing. Usually, I would not defend the actions of an airline, because they are normally asinine, but sorry, autistic or not (and this will be used for pity points), if Mom can't control a kid on a flight, they don't need to be there. And no, autism isn't a free pass. If he can't deal with a plane ride, his mother should find another way to travel. The blame lies with the mother who expects pity because she has a child with developmental issues. Take some responsibility and be a real woman.
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Gosh, I guess it's just too hard to explain what dealing with an autistic child can really be like unless you've done it. I don't blame the mother at all. She could have been fully prepared for anything, and still had something entirely unexpected happen with her child. My view is biased, I agree, I've known many parents of autistic kids and have witnessed first hand their exhaustion, desperation and frustrations. A lot of people seemed to have a really warped view of what autism actually is and how severe it can get, maybe because of the media, or maybe because of simple lack of knowledge.

The disorder is unpredictable. There's no telling whether he WOULD be ok on the plane or not. Like the article said, he was fine on another flight. So ya, let's say the possibility of his maladaptive behaviours exist so she should find another way to travel. The possibility of his maladaptive behaviours showing up given ANY mode of travel exists. So then what? Well, maybe these kids shouldn't travel at all. Heck, there's even a possible danger if this kid is in a house, better confine him to a room. But all that space, those windows in that room, dangerous...better keep him in a cage. I know I'm exaggerating, but it's where that road of thinking leads.

I mean, we don't really need to build ramps for parapalegics, why bother spending the money? They should just learn to accept that they shouldn't have access to any place above ground level. That sound ok to you guys too?

I am not denying that the flight crew did any wrong by following regulations. But a little patience and understanding is not a lot to ask for from a group of individuals with fully healthy minds.
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See, GoShogun, this is the type of thing that make people roll their eyes when someone expects for the world to stop for them and for safety measures to be compromised and the majority to be inconvenienced. No one is saying that autism isn't serious, or that it's easy to raise an autistic child. No one is saying autistic kids need to be dramatically shut away. And quite frankly, it cheapens the whole debate to go on about denying people in wheelchairs ramps.

Flying is miserable as it is in this day and age. I don't think a flying tube full of people need to suffer delays, defying safety regulations, and a child's caterwauling tantrum whether he is autistic or not. If that mother had even an ounce of class, she would have taken herself and the kid off the flight without being asked. Autism is unpredictable, right? Well, she should not have counted on every flight going as well as his first, and now that she has this knowledge, she might want to look for other methods of transport, for her own sanity and everyone else's. We live in a society that caters to everyone that cries discrimination whether that cry is justified or not. Understanding is fine, but there are limits to that. Sorry the kid has autism. Sorry you have to deal with it as a parent. Ultimately, though, it's not my problem or anyone else's. This situation went beyond the limits of patience and understanding.
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One Word... Rohypnol.. It should be mandatory for getting on a flight, hell that beats jet lag. Everybody pops a rohypnol, theres no way someone could hi jack that flight, and theres no way someone could be upset or unruly, certainly loading a plane could take longer considering you have to wheel each person on then, but you save that much time in security checks, because of course, how can you use a gun, knife, club, etc. on a flight, if you arent awake.....
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The child's autism is irrelevant to the story, since he wasn't removed from the plane because he was autistic. If the kid is running around in the aisles, for whatever reason, and is injured due to turbulence, the airline could be liable (or at least have to defend itself in court).

Safety regulations are applicable to all passengers, autism notwithstanding. Presumably, this mother doesn't let her child cross the street against a red light "because he's autisitic".

She and her son were dealt a bad hand and they'll have to adapt to it and not expect the rest of the world to adapt to them. I'm sure the child could be mildly sedated for future flights, and if not, I guess they can't fly. There are other ways to get around.

It's rare that an airline does anything with which I agree but on this occasion, the pilot did the right thing.
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"They deserve more, because they’ve had more taken away from them by no choice of their own OR their parents in most cases."

This is the standard argument/dilemma for a lot of disabilities, mental disorder, racism, sexism, poverty and other discrimination issues, i.e. The world owes them so they have more special rights.

And such way of thinking is resulted from believing in free will, as they believe that their choices were limited by their disabilities.

However, from the point of view of determinism, I would say, just live with what you have, and stop crying about how much you would have if you were normal.
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I'm glad to see the same reaction I had. "Autism" doesn't grant clemency to anyone. If the mother has a problem controlling her child, she should not use public transportation. The flight attendants are not there to babysit, they are to aid in the safety and comfort of all passengers. There are rules in place for EVERYONE. If the mother was unable to comply with the set rules, she and her boy have no right to fly. The rest of the passengers on that plane are equally important, and nobody should be forced to put their life on the line for some unruly kid.

It's just like those ahole parents who don't leave a restaurant or theatre when their kid is screaming. Control your kid or keep them at home.
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Autism may or may not be overdiagnosed now, but it was definitely underdiagnosed in the past. My brother is a 52 year-old undiagnosed autistic. It is called a spectrum because there is such a broad range. Most of those people you made fun of in high school because they didn't "fit in" probably fall into the spectrum somewhere. It doesn't mean there is something wrong with them. It just means their brains don't process information, usually social cues and such, like the rest of us.

It is possible that the employees on that flight may need some kind of sensitivity training, but it is not the responsibility of the airlines to make sure their employees are able to deal with every type of disorder known to man. Every autistic kid is different. What may be soothing to one could set another one off.

Did she talk to anyone before the flight to let them know of any special needs? Did she tell them he will be more comfortable if his belt is a little loose? This type of interaction could have prevented the whole situation.
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Wow, I am just shocked at the amount of ignorance on these boards. Autistic kids, especially severe and profound cases, have a completely different sensory system then you or I. They cannot help these meltdowns. I work with a particularly large 15 year old non-verbal autistic boy, and many times he becomes overloaded to the point that he physically assaults and once bit through a remote control. Does this mean I shouldn't work with him anymore? That I should just tell the mom to keep him home and shrink the quality of his life because of a disorder he didn't ask for? If the crew had just been patient and waited for some medication to kick in(which I am assuming the mother dispensed) it would have been fine, but it sounds like they tried to treat him like a normal two-year old, which anyone who has been around someone with autism can tell you, is something you should not do, they are very different.
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@ GoShogun

Okay, so why did the stewardess and the pilot had to be the one to point out the boy was incorrectly seated? The problem here isn't that the boy was having a meltdown due to autism - it's that the mother wasn't taking the necessary steps to correct the situation of her son putting himself a potentially dangerous situation.

@ Greg

Talk about being over dramatic....

No one has seriously suggested the mother never take her child outside. Nor has anyone blamed the boy for having an uncontrollable reaction. People here have expressed anger and disgust that the mother refused to follow safety protocol for her son.

No, a plane cannot wait indefinitely for someone before it takes off. I would suggest finding someone who flies a lot, or works in the industry to discover why that is not a possibility.

You assumed the mother drugged her child, but read the article and watch the video - as over dramatic as she is being, and the fact that she completely refuses to acknowledge she was allowing her son to be in a dangerous position, don't you think she would have mentioned that fact in an interview? It would have been another pity point for her.

I think you need to carefully reread the reactions of the people on here before throwing a hysterical fit. No one suggested the kid is locked away for life, no one suggested he less of a person than a "normal" person - but people are demanding that he follow the rules designed to protect him and safeguard him against accident.
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@Jennifer

I'm not being overly dramatic, I've run into this mentality in public when working with kids with disabilities and people here claiming she should just "control" her kid in the same fashion parents control normal kids, which isn't the correct protocol at all. It sounds like the airline crew got into the kids face, overloading his senses even more. We as a society are judged by how we treat our less capable. I agree safety measures need to be followed, but it just sounds like the airline staff was incompetent and not trained to deal with this situation.
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@ Greg

Why was it that the staff of the flight had to be the one to attempt to get the boy in a SAFE position so the plane could take off? From that article the mother was not interested in doing anything to protect her child's safety. Yes, it's sad the boy has autism. But there is a reason that the FAA requires all passengers to be belted into their seats at the time of take-off, and it is even sadder the mother thought her child should be exempt from safety regulations just because he has autism. Not only that, the mother thought thousands of people should be held up, or their plans hurt, because her boy was, at the time, unable to sit with his seat belt on.

What if there was a doctor carrying an organ for transplant and he was depending on that flight making it's connection to save someone else's life? What if there a man who had learned his father was dying within the day and he was desperate to see him before that happened but by the flight arriving late would have missed that opportunity? How about a family who had saved and pinched pennies just for a chance to see their family? What about a service member who was returning from Iraq and had not yet seen his newborn child?

So, because one child is at the moment unable to follow FAA regulations regarding safety, all these other people should suffer?

All I'm hearing is, "but he has autism, so no one else is as important or special as he is and he most certainly is exempt from safety regulations."
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I'm just trying to make two points-

1. The staff should have handled this better(as should have the mother).

2. People on this board(Bean in particular) seem to have a callous view on autism, saying its a "pop-culture diagnosis" when it reality, its a really disabling disorder.

Yes, ultimately, the kid should have been removed off the plane, but they should have been moved to a later flight after the child had calmed down.
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My son is autistic and I am absolutely flummoxed by some of these responses.

I don't disagree that air travel isn't for everyone. I absolutely would not ever put my son on a plane. Ever. For any reason imaginable.

But, people, seriously, have some empathy. My son has melted down in grocery stores and parks and at school, and I am so saddened by the people who treat us like we are freaks. He and I both try our hardest to get through each day. Minute by minute.

But through it all, I have discovered that "normal" people mostly suck. Just as my son cannot always control his reactions, the same can be said for most normal folks. At least my son has a neurological disorder to explain his behavior.

Grow up, people.
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I work as a special education teacher and work specifically with young children with autism and I absolutely agree Trisha's previous post. I am astounded at the heartless cruel comments posted by many of you. I am horrified that people with such horrific attitudes towards people with disabilities exist in our society. "Taze them both?!!!" Come on...where do you get off saying something like that?! Of course the mother should have been more prepared, she should have consulted her doctor or chosen a different mode of transportation. But come on!!! Must you stoop to the dark ages when discussing people with disabilities? Autism is not the new "pop diagnosis" by the way. Who ever wrote that needs to educate themselves before opening their judgmental bigoted mouth.
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I have a autistic grandson who is the love of my life. And unless you can walk in my shoes for just one day I sugguest all of you so call normal people learn to keep your ignorant comments to yourselves or try learing what the meaning of meltdown is relating to autism.
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I have an Autistic son. I wish it was something we could control or cure. That would make my life so much easier. I am just so glad we have all these experts around, I won't be seeing our Doctor at Children's Hospital anymore I am going to ask some of these people what I should do with my son. I am so sick and tired of ignorant people. People with disabilities are so much more compassionate and forgiving. Just better human beings all around. I have flown many many times and its not the unruly child that is the problem. It's the cell phone using, have not showered, loud, drinking, thinks they need to jump up and down getting items out of their carry on that drives people crazy. The child will eventually settle down and everyone is happy. The idiot with the cell phone will still be stupid at the end of the trip. (why don't they get kicked off?)
The mother of the Autistic child should have medicated her child. Making him more comfortable. But the flight attendent should keep her hands to herself.
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These are some of the most ignorant comments I have ever heard. This mom was taking a flight with her AUTISTIC son which she paid for just like the rest of the passengers.She did not choose for him to be Autistic and Autism is not some over diagnosed pop culture syndrome. I cringed at hearing that statement and it saddens me to think of those parents who have lived with the difficult struggles of having a child with Autism and that they are still able to provide them with some sort of normalcy like taking a trip only to have our society be so selfish and pompous.
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Damn!Thats against the disabity act in EVERY COUNTRY,the mam should sue the airline she has them hung she can get millions out of this besides this was'nt the aspergers and aspergers kids actually tend to obey the rules and tons of them are interested in airplanes and aviation
so there is two points against disibility act:
1.Blaming actions which are not due to disablement on disibility
and
2.Not allowing travel due to disablement
If that mam sues which i would advise her too she will get that airline closed down more than likely!
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After reading this and these oppin I agree there was a great concern of the airline to keep a safe and on time flight but I agree if the flight attendants were aware of the situation an autistic child they probably could of handled this situation . Although for those ignorance comments of Autism its real ! and obviously you dont know anyone with autism so maybe someday you will or have a child of your own with autism lets see how you handle it?? I was recently in a mall with an autistic child I work with and a lady made a comment some parents have no control its not about control when they go in these rages they are unaware of their surroundings....so unless your an expert in autism maybe you should think twice before you voice your oppinion,,,,
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One of my boys is autistic. If the stewardess grabbed at him (a stranger) or his seatbelt it would freak him out. I have seen situations like this (personally) rapidly go downhill when people don't listen to the parent because they ASSUME your child is a brat. I don't know if she told the airline ahead of time, she was probably more than willing to adjust his seatbelt repeatedly. He was buckled but they kept screwing with him. When strangers try to touch my son he trips out. Most drugs safe for airline travel as is common with many kids...don't work with my son and the more upset he is the more he has to burn through it to crash. I imagine mom was hysterical and bewildered. It is hard enough taking an autistic child into any unusual circumstance like a new store. This was already hard on her. Autism changes families not just the child who is born with it.
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