A University City family claims they were kicked out of a popular San Diego tour because their autistic son.
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Laura Ohme told 10News her family was on the SEAL Tour of San Diego but was asked to leave because of an inconsolable tantrum.
"He was throwing a fit, you know, having a tantrum," Ohme said of her son, 5-year-old Max.
She said she told waiting passengers and the captain that Max has autism.
"I had explained that once the bus was going to be moving he would be OK," said Ohme. "The captain just said, 'I'm sorry, we cannot have you ride. I have my other 35 passengers to think of.' It just honestly felt like discrimination against a child with a disability."
When asked if she could sympathize with what others may have had to deal with, she spoke of her struggles when out in public.
"You get the stares, the looks, the 'what's wrong with those parents,' why can't they control 'that' child, and it's very difficult," said Ohme.
SEAL Tour management told 10News they want to offer the family a full refund and have already offered them a private family tour.
Ohme said she and her family will decline the offer.
"Unfortunately, the child was too disruptive for all the other guests to enjoy the tour," said David Thornton of the SEAL Tour of San Diego. "The SEAL crew was upset to make such a difficult call. Under the circumstances, for the benefit of all our other guests, I believe it was the correct decision."
"I realize that they felt badly about it," Ohme added.
The Ohmes said they will file a grievance with the Office for Civil Rights.
They hope, if nothing else, the employees will learn to have more sensitivity and education when dealing with patrons with special needs like Max.
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