Sunday, February 26, 2012

Accommodations

Thank you everyone for your support for the situation yesterday at Monkey Joe's and everything that came of it. A few things I wanted to make clear, since I might not have explained them properly the first time around:

MJ's did not contact me after being contacted by the news. I contacted the news before the whole situation was resolved, and then also contacted MJ's corporate. They called me before hearing back from the news. I am not going to pursue the media anymore because I am satisfied enough with how things turned out in the end.

And my intention in going to the media was not for any personal attention, more to let others know what Monkey Joe's was doing to discriminate against people with special needs and to send a message to MJ's and others that this action is not acceptable. If I were someone else and a situation like this happened, I would want to know about it. But like I said, this won't be necessary since I am satisfied for now.

Also, Monkey Joe's is a private institution and so my understanding is that they are exempt from a lot of the clauses under the Americans with Disabilities Act. I suppose this means that they can technically make up whatever rule they want to. But obviously, as with any other business, they will see certain consequences from their actions. We felt that Dean was being singled out from the remainder of their customers because we were asking something simple to accommodate him so he could be safe.

Really, if you only knew (and maybe you do :)), we help Dean assimilate to the rest of the world in about a thousand ways each and every day. This is not about asking others to conform to our every little request for him. We do not believe in raising Dean (or our other children) in a bubble. Mostly because, that bubble does not exist. There are too many things that must happen in a day for Dean to be healthy, safe, and enjoy life that our other two typical children don't need. These accommodations have become normal to us because life as we know it has been completely different since Dean got here. Every parent makes accommodations for their child(ren)'s likes, dislikes, routines, and needs. We are no different. On top of those, there is just more that needs to be done for Dean. We're not expecting everyone else to pick up the slack for that, but we do hope (and expect?) that society will realize at times that it's not ok to throw others to the side. Dean and others with special needs didn't ask for their additional challenges, and they are just as human as everyone else. At times, treating everyone equally means that we need to be a bit uncomfortable, as long as no one else is being hurt. In this vein, I hardly think taking off socks was a grave offense. :)

Thanks again for your support!

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