Advanced search

to think we were OK to use the disabled changing room

(91 Posts)
Creasedupcrinkle Sat 21-May-16 20:09:02

I have lupus. I have the classic skin rash on my face and my joints are bad. I can't bend very well at all, my knees give way. My eldest child has autism, dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder. It had taken us three while hours to leave the house such were her meltdowns today. Child 2 has motor skills issues and child 3 is deaf. They are 7,6 and 5. Going anywhere is a struggle as DD doesn't do change and physical sensation well (although she lives swimming), DS1 has to have everything done for him and DS2 can't hear.

At a huge swimming/sports complex, we used the larger, disabled changing room to change. There were two. As we came out the mother of a child in a big electric wheelchair stopped us and said "you know this is the disabled one?" I said "yes, and not all disabilities are visual." She huffed and walked into the changing room before we had even finished even though there was an empty one next door.
Then her husband said "you know it's only for physical disabilities" and lifted his daughter out of her chair. I said "not all disabilities are obvious" and he snorted. The mum came back out and my husband went and got the rest of our gear, and she said "you shouldn't use this cubicle, use another." My husband said "I'm not going to stand here discussing this in front of our children but some disabilities are invisible." She slammed the door!

Were we actually unreasonable?

Becky546 Sat 21-May-16 20:11:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WhizzPopper Sat 21-May-16 20:11:39

Ywnbu, they on the other hand were bastards!

cansu Sat 21-May-16 20:12:30

No, you were not. She was playing disability top trumps. I have a 15 year old son with severe autism and learning difficulties. We use the disabled changing and I feel it is completely appropriate.

SauvignonBlanche Sat 21-May-16 20:12:42


It's a shame you had to experience that. So many fuckwits abuse facilities for the disabled but that doesn't excuse them assuming that you were one of them.

Maisy313 Sat 21-May-16 20:14:45

Absolutely YWNBU, sorry you had such a horrible experience. I imagine the other family are having a terrible day flowers

BeanCalledPickle Sat 21-May-16 20:14:58

I have chrons disease and sometimes simply cannot wait so I will use the disabled loo. I have a key. The looks I get! Why, why much people assume a wheelchair is a pre requisite for disabled facility use? You were absolutely NBU and deserve some manner of award for getting out the house full stop.

mangocoveredlamb Sat 21-May-16 20:16:02

You should not have had to put up with this at all, but to keep going after you'd basically stated you were disabled is so rude.
So people get their kicks out of feeling more deserving than others.

AgeOfEarthquakes Sat 21-May-16 20:16:30

No of course YWNBU. They sound like twats.

Creasedupcrinkle Sat 21-May-16 20:21:53

Thankyou. It really shook me and my husband was very upset. I absolutely don't mind being challenged, it was the pissing contest that they seemed to want which followed that got to me. It made me second guess myself and I insisted we use a standard cubicle on the way out, which was a disaster as DD lashed out and DS1 started squabbling with her. In the end my husband took them all out once they were dressed and left me to dress alone.

Pinkheart5915 Sat 21-May-16 20:28:03

Of course you were more than within your rights to use the disabled changing rooms.
They were playing disability top trumps by the sounds of it, just because there child's disability could be seen doesn't make it any more important.

Banderwassnatched Sat 21-May-16 20:30:38

YANBU but they probably find their cubicle occupied by people who don't need it all the time. We don't need accessible facilities but with three kids, we do need space and family changing is always full, forcing us to cram into cubicles and attempt to change with someone's elbow in someone else's ear. And who is using the flaming leisure pool alone, anyway?

Creasedupcrinkle Sat 21-May-16 20:40:35

They've probably had the discussion before and on the face of it we look absolutely fine.

EverySongbirdSays Sat 21-May-16 20:46:02

Wheelchair user here. You WEREN'T being unreasonable.

Sometimes it is frustrating because there are those who do take the piss, and it's hard to judge/not judge sometimes

There are polite ways of having that conversation and impolite ways. They were cunty - sorry OP flowers

UnderTheGreenwoodTree Sat 21-May-16 20:48:26

ywnbu - I imagine they have experience of people with no disabilities nicking their spaces. They should have shut up at your explanation though. thanks

Beeziekn33ze Sat 21-May-16 20:53:58

Sorry you had such an unpleasant experience 💐

Blu Sat 21-May-16 20:56:21

But I agree with those who suggest that week after week they may find the changing room occupied by people who just like the extra space and privacy. And they may also, if it is anything like my local gym / pool, have found all the disabled parking spaces occupied by non badge holders or those who display a badge but leap out of their cars straight into a vigorous 5 a Side game.

ExtraHotLatteToGo Sat 21-May-16 20:57:18

Try not to take it to heart. 💐

Of course you're entitled to use it - I was with you at 'I have lupus' let alone three children, AND all of them having disabilities.

I guess they come across so many families using it for convenience rather than necessity that they just lost their tempers and weren't actually listening to you. That or they're generally just thick & rude.

Even though it was really horrible for you & your family, it really wasn't 'about you'. Don't let it put you off using them in future. If it happens again and someone tells you that you shouldn't be using them, tell them to feel free to get the manager to come & discuss it with you.

Getting out of the house when you have something like lupus can be hard enough, but going out with 3 children, with additional needs as well - and swimming with the faff that entails anyway - makes you & your DH total stars in my book ⭐️⭐️ Try to enjoy your evening & don't dwell on it.

igglepiggleisanarsehole Sat 21-May-16 20:58:56

Complete arseholes, don't waste another thought on them.

zzzzz Sat 21-May-16 21:00:11

nope not unreasonable AT ALL. I have the same issue with children that at first glance don't look like they need more room etc. We do and frankly they can WAIT like we do if there are no disabled cubicles (and waiting is not our easiest activity).

MrsDeVere Sat 21-May-16 21:04:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

totalrecall1 Sat 21-May-16 21:04:58

I am going to buck the trend here, but I can see why they might be annoyed. You can use other changing rooms they can not. Not sure how having an invisible disability would require you to use an adapted changing room but having a physical one does? Could you not use a family changing room?

x2boys Sat 21-May-16 21:10:23

Not necessarily total I have a six yr old with severe autism and learning disabilities on the face of it he doesn't appear disabled either but I would use a disabled changing room too asd he's still in nappies and I need the space to change his nappy op yanbu .

Creasedupcrinkle Sat 21-May-16 21:10:48

Because I can't bend, DD gets upset about sensation and personal space, DS1 needs dressing from head to toe and the extra space makes all this possible. I stood DS1 on the bench in there to dress him, DD sat at the end of the bench alone, stimming, and DH dressed DS2 and himself, and helped with DD. Then he helped me dress (I can't fasten my costume) and packed the bags.

totalrecall1 Sat 21-May-16 21:12:32

Fair enough then OP YANBU

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now