Fame-seeking mom owes library, and son with autism, an apology (Opinion)
Guess you can pull the person out of reality TV, but you can't pull the reality TV out of the person.
Jacqueline Laurita posted a video to social media to garner sympathy and outrage over the story of her 8 year old son with autism being asked to leave the local library. At first glance, you think, maybe the library could've handled it better and maybe she has a point about people being insensitive. Then you wake up and realize that this is nothing, but a shameless publicity stunt at the expense of her own special needs child. Caller after caller on Wednesday agreed with my take on this. Perhaps the most surprising to some were the calls from teachers who work with kids with autism and mothers who are raising sons with autism. The library by all accounts acted appropriately, measured and responsibly. After several attempts to get the mom to help her son and quiet the disruption, they were asked to leave. Instead of helping her son, "reality TV mom" took to her phone to record her son's behavior for a social media post. Disgraceful. She not only owes the library staff an apology, she should apologize to her son for leaving him out in the open to make a statement.
Libraries are quiet places. Regardless of certain conditions suffered by visitors, the library rules are what they are. Certainly staff makes reasonable accommodations for people with certain conditions, but ultimately it's up to parents and individuals to adjust to the reality of the environment. Plenty of kids with autism and special needs kids go to church, restaurants and even libraries and learn how to adapt their behavior. For this fame-seeking former reality star to act as if the bad guy in this situation is an intolerant society is not only disingenuous, but it's dangerous. Many families struggle every day to help guide their suffering kids to integrate as much as possible in neurotypical environments. She should apologize to them for...according to at least one caller today...setting the Autism Awareness movement back years . Then I suggest Jacqueline embrace her new reality...her 'fifteen minutes' ended a while ago.
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.
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