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Autism and Discrimination

(10 Posts)
Amarie290280 Tue 24-Jan-17 21:48:39

My 9 year old who has Autism recently went into the post office and tried to buy some sweets, she was unsure if she had enough money so she asked the staff who told her she didn't. She sought further advice from her older sister and friend only for the staff member to humiliate her in front of her friend, older and other students from a local high school by saying ' my friend there is no good at Maths' !!!!! My daughter is high risk for anxiety, depression and self harm. She was so upsat and this has completely knocked any progress we had made regarding her feeling comfortable doing things on her own and knocked all progress made about handeling of money. What I want to know is has she just experienced discrimination relating to her disability and if so what do I do ?

zzzzz Tue 24-Jan-17 22:00:22

You complain to the post office and ask them to send the member of staff on a training course.

tartanterror Tue 24-Jan-17 22:03:29

If it were me I would write to the owner/manager of the post office branch to make a "formal complaint" and ask them to reply to you in writing in the next 14 days. Maybe ask for the staff member to apologise unreservedly in person to your DD? Or to write her a personal letter if that is too much? It's a public service and I am sure that doesn't live up to the required standards of their staff members.....

tartanterror Tue 24-Jan-17 22:05:33

I'd maybe be tempted to write my own letter to give to DD even if the people at the post office don't write one or it's unsuitable for sharing.... Such a shame when people make thoughtless comments without understanding what longstanding problems they are causing. The person will probably be really embarrassed when you explain it to them. Good luck

pannetone Tue 24-Jan-17 22:17:36

I'm sorry that the person serving your daughter was so insensitive - not a kind comment to make to any child. flowers I can quite see that the comment has really set your DD back and how upsetting this is.

I don't think disability discrimination applies in this case - that would be something like the member of staff knew about your DD's disability and refused to serve her because she has autism.

Can you try to 'set up' situations in which your DD's confidence can be rebuilt, for example, speaking in advance to a (sympathetic!) local shopkeeper and getting DD to go on an errand there - with you on hand for back up?

Amarie290280 Tue 24-Jan-17 23:02:12

Thanks everyone, I've emailed the post office company and will just have to wait to hear what they say

Megatherium Tue 24-Jan-17 23:15:21

I doubt that it is technically disability discrimination, because I assume the staff member didn't know about your daughter's diagnosis. But it wouldn't hurt for her to be reminded to be more sensitive generally when dealing with customers, particularly children.

youarenotkiddingme Wed 25-Jan-17 17:18:27

That's shit. I'd assume it be expected that PO staff would be expected to serve customers on a daily basis who have varying abilities with maths, literacy and money.

It's a public service and they should support and guide their customers.

Amarie290280 Wed 25-Jan-17 18:09:18

This is what I'm thinking. Autism is an almost 'invisible' disability but that still doesn't mean that staff should be able to make statements regarding someone's ability to be able to do or not do something. Simply because of things such as 'invisible disabilities'

zzzzz Wed 25-Jan-17 18:56:42

Doesn't make the slightest difference if you're disabled or just not good at maths it's a VILE thing to say to a child.angry

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