October 12, 2016

Montgomery County mom calls Friendly's removal of autistic son 'dehumanizing'

Restaurant manager forces family out over excessive crying

Restaurants Autism
101216_FriendlysPottstown Source/Google Street View

Friendly's restaurant at 200 Shoemaker Road in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

A Montgomery County mother is speaking out after her 5-year-old autistic son's crying resulted in the family's removal from a Friendly's restaurant in Pottstown.

Teri Lyn Jensen-Sellers took her son Lind, who is partially nonverbal, to the restaurant on Shoemaker Road in Pottstown on Saturday afternoon with the boy's brother, according to WFMZ-69.

After the family was seated, the child began to cry for about seven minutes before a manager reportedly visited the table and told Jensen-Sellers she had to leave.

"People are looking at you," Jensen-Sellers said the manager told her. "Your child is crying excessively. You have to leave."


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Jensen-Sellers said she wants an apology from the company and to raise awareness of the struggles faced by families who are raising children on the spectrum.

In a statement, Friendly's corporate office told the news station that the company is "aware of the unfortunate circumstances" that occurred in Pottstown over the weekend and had reached out to Sellers-Jenson about the incident. As of Wednesday evening, Jensen-Sellers said she had not been contacted.