Store Won't Let Child With Autism In Play Area, Which Doesn't Sound Very 'Family Friendly' to Us

play areaIt’s pretty hard not to get excited about a trip to IKEA, considering it’s like an adult playland. However, one mother did not have a great experience after IKEA employees refused her autistic son entry into the playroom.


One simply does not think of discrimination happening at IKEA. For starters, it’s a home-furnishing megastore practically anyone can afford. Between the well-styled vignettes and temptation to catch a catnap inside a cozy bed (don’t act like you never thought of it), you really don’t hear too much bad news coming from this Swedish retailer.

Bianca Amanzada has some words for the people at an IKEA in Germany after they treated her 5-year-old some kind of way. Hoping to drop him off at Småland, the store’s giant play area for parents to get a break from their kids -- I mean enjoy their shopping experience -- Amanzada reveals he was turned away because of his autism. After disclosing her son, Alyschah-Paul, had autism, Bianca alleges an employee at Småland said he would be too much of a risk considering “autistic children are violent by nature.” If that wasn’t bad enough, someone recommended the little 5-year-old could stay in the car.

So no you won’t accept my child out of fear for other children’s safety, but you think it’s OK to just leave him in the car? Guess there aren’t too many hot car deaths over there. Insert sarcasm and eye roll.

Hoping to find some sort of resolution, Bianca even offered to have her 19-year-old daughter stay with her son so he could play. That of course was shot down. IKEA Germany responded in a “sorry, not sorry” manner to Bianca’s claims. A representative told news outlets Småland employees have to consider whether or not they can safely watch a child on a case-by-case basis. They also state having the 19-year-old violates policy (understandable) and that Amanzada supposedly told employees her son “could be aggressive.” Who knows if the latter is true -- though it might sway some to think differently about the situation.

More from The Stir: Autism Facts vs. Fiction: What Every Parent Needs to Know

I don’t have children with special needs and won’t begin to think about the extra steps parents must take who do. I can only assume this mom wouldn’t put her child in harm’s way, whether to himself or others. If IKEA is going to stand by what happened, it might want to change the language on its Småland website to read: Must be between 4 and 10, potty-trained, play happily and safely, and have no special needs of any kind.


 Image via © ChiccoDodiFC/iStock

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