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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Anyone go to restaurants with their child?

Posted by on Jun. 3, 2014 at 8:23 PM
  • 31 Replies

Tonight my dh wanted to go out. We haven't been out in a while. My daughter has been less and less willing to sit at a table. I chose a place that I knew was open and says family-friendly so I thought it'd be ok if she wandered a little bit. 

Well, she wouldn't sit AT ALL. She wouldn't eat anything even though I got her some pasta which she loves. And while i was okay with the wandering, she kept wandering right up to people's tables and I was scared she was going to take food off other people's plates!! So I spent the whole time standing close behind her, leading her back to the table, trying to get her to eat. It was tiring and frustrating and I just don't want to go out to eat anymore. I saw all these other kids sitting at their tables eating their dinners and I just wanted to cry. I know my daughter was doing great not screaming or crying, She was happy there and curiously wandering around but ........ that's just not how restaurants work. :(

i think I need to create a restaurant where it's encouraged for the kids to wander. Not like a play place at Mcdonalds. Like the restaurant version of Sensory Friendly Films. Sound good to anyone else?

by on Jun. 3, 2014 at 8:23 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Charizma77
by Carissa on Jun. 3, 2014 at 8:52 PM

We do go out to eat but it's hit or miss with Ashton. Our current issue isn't wondering around but he is a hungry kid and he hates to wait so going out to nice restaurants kind of suck because he has banged on the table and yelled for his food..not every time..sometimes he's an angel. We find Red Robin to be the best fit for our family..  S we go there more than other places. My 2 yo ds is actually my hard one to take out at the moment, he wants to crawl under the tables and he eats his food in 5 minutes and the wants to play...  But Ashton is great as long as he's eating, he seriously loves to eat..

Charizma77
by Carissa on Jun. 3, 2014 at 8:54 PM
1 mom liked this

Oh and I love your sensory friendly restaurant idea! That would rock!

Momof4AEMW
by Gold Member on Jun. 3, 2014 at 10:01 PM

We generally bring in or go to pizza baffet where it is ready to eat without waiting.  It is a challenge to take our three out to a normal sit down place.  No one enjoys it; us or those around us, lol! 

Jenibob
by Bronze Member on Jun. 3, 2014 at 10:09 PM

You will be able to sit and enjoy restaurant dining soon. Right now I get that it's a lot of work, been there.   It took my son awhile and now at age 12, eating out is one of his favorite things to do.But it is sometimes hit or miss.  I think that's why us Mom's relish those wonderful moments when our kids can happily manage the environment.

jowen905
by Jan on Jun. 3, 2014 at 10:59 PM
1 mom liked this

 We used to have issues with our almost 13 year old.  Now he enjoys going out to eat - anywhere!  I know all of our kids are different, but I'd keep trying to slowly expose her to different environments.  I don't blame you for not wanting to go out to eat anymore - just take a break for awhile.  I hope things get better.

Ha - I just remembered when ds was about 2 we went to a great Japanese restaurant that we loved with about 10 other people - what was I thinking???  They cook right in front of you, food is sizzling, wonderful (to me) aromas fill the room, people are cheering and laughing and the cook is throwing food at you to catch in your mouth.  You can guess how that went over with ds!  We ended up taking turns holding him while walking back and forth in the bar, where it was quiet.  Doy!

MixedCooke
by Member on Jun. 4, 2014 at 3:18 AM

She is generally well behaved but once she is done, she is done, so we know that our time is limited.

darbyakeep45
by Darby on Jun. 4, 2014 at 6:17 AM
1 mom liked this

If Brady had his way, he'd walk around restaurants just like your daughter wants to do.  We don't give him that option though.  We always get a booth and have him sit on the inside by my husband.  We bring his iPad, books, toys, etc. for entertainment.  If he's good, then we let him walk around (with us) for a few minutes at the end of the meal.  We don't allow him to walk around the restaurant while we are eating.  Just not an option.  Now, we don't go out to eat all the time either but when we do that's how things are.

ineedcoffeemom
by Brittaney on Jun. 4, 2014 at 8:57 AM

I don't want to let her wander. I want her to sit with us. But when I try to make that happen, even with her tablet, books, crayons, etc ........... she kicks and screams until we let her go. So the restaurant would have to endure her screaming at the top of her lungs and we'd be beaten up.

And my dh refuses to support me in trying to get her to sit down. If I try and she fights, he yells at me to let her go. And then when I'm stressed out about her wandering around, he starts saying we need to spank her. So going out to eat is a completely unpleasant experience.

Quoting darbyakeep45:

If Brady had his way, he'd walk around restaurants just like your daughter wants to do.  We don't give him that option though.  We always get a booth and have him sit on the inside by my husband.  We bring his iPad, books, toys, etc. for entertainment.  If he's good, then we let him walk around (with us) for a few minutes at the end of the meal.  We don't allow him to walk around the restaurant while we are eating.  Just not an option.  Now, we don't go out to eat all the time either but when we do that's how things are.


3mommy243
by Member on Jun. 4, 2014 at 9:43 AM

I agree! I only take ds out when there is alot of us! if i'm by myself its drive through all the way!!!

johnns
by Johnna on Jun. 4, 2014 at 9:59 AM
We do now, Sally is 5 (asd) , some places are better than others. We all still kind of worry how it's going to ' go down' with her! Lol Her meltdowns or wildness embarrasses my teen boys- ugh!
She was just unbearable there for a while! We didn't have her dx till 3, so we didn't know what to think. It would be a hit or miss. We thought, well, maybe we took her out and she was too hungry, or tired, or whatever other excuse. I have 2 older kids, and they NEVER acted like her. We were baffled. I could feel her anxiety & her 'weird' vibe, but I just couldn't figure it out. We knew nothing about autism. It would freak me out see her get so uncontrollable in crowded public places. I don't know that I've ever been out with a child that challenging before! DH & I seemed like pretty good parents, what was going on!?! We were scared to go out with her. That really changed me. Things got MUCH better after the dx & help! Whew! What a ride!! I've got some courage, knowledge, & experience under my belt now- thank goodness!
So, Yeh, it happens, but as time goes on, it will get better. Not only that, but you get a little more thick skinned, and you won't even notice other people. Get right 'in tune' with your little one and work out the difficult moments. That's how I'm getting by anyways:)
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