Mission Valley Chili's restaurant accused of autism discrimination

Posted at 11:28 PM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-16 19:15:21-05

MISSION VALLEY, Calif. — A San Diego mom is outraged after a recent experience at the Mission Valley Chili's Grill & Bar restaurant.

Violet German claims an employee kicked her family out of the restaurant over the weekend because of her son Andrew's autism.

During a birthday brunch, Andrew began squealing while he played a game on his tablet. That's when German said a cook came out and told them that someone had complained about Andrew's behavior. They were told that the restaurant was losing customers.

"He was like 'the yelling really has to stop,'" Violet said. "And then he asked us if we could take (Andrew) outside."

Violet explained to the man that Andrew has autism, but it didn't seem to matter.

"And that's when he was like, 'Can I get you guys a box, like a box for you guys to leave?'" Violet said.

The rudeness and lack of understanding was a tough pill to swallow, so the family left without paying.

10News asked Chili's Grill & Bar about the situation. A  spokesperson said the following:

"Our team at chili's mission valley approached our guest this morning with the best of intentions in an effort to help, but at no point asked our guest to leave. We sincerely apologize for their experience because it does not align with the special service guests expect when dining at their local chili's."

German said she doesn't deny that no one ever explicitly asked her to leave.

Her tip to others is this: Next time you hear a child screaming, try to imagine what you'd do if you couldn't say "I'm happy " Or try to understand it might just be a happy squeal.

"That's how God made him, you know? I mean, we can't help it," German said.

The staff at Chili's Grill & Bar also reached out to the family on Facebook, apologizing for the experience and asked for contact information to follow up.