Play Place Rules Should Apply to Autistic Kids Too

Mary Hawkins Rant

child wearing socksYou know those indoor playground-type places where they have ball pits, slides, and the like? Well, a mom in the U.K. is outraged after she visited one of them at the Colchester Zoo -- and was told that her 4-year-old autistic son had to wear socks. Let me explain.

The zoo has a policy that all of the children playing there have to wear socks for hygiene reasons, you know, because feet are disgusting no matter how little they are. But Tamsin Moore explains that her son, Archie, cannot stand to have anything on his feet -- which is why he immediately takes off his socks whenever he is inside.

And when a manager at the zoo told her that Archie either had to put socks on or she would be required to follow him around the play area, Tamsin stormed out and is vowing never to return to the facility.

Apparently the zoo even offered her a free pair of socks from the shop for the little boy to use, which she refused.

While I understand that this child has autism and has a special situation when it comes to not liking to wear things on his feet -- I'm sorry, but I have to side with the zoo in this case. Again, feet are gross. They just are. They're sticky and sweaty and when you put a ton of little bare feet together in one room -- you've got yourself a breeding ground for all sorts of funky stuff. It's in the best interests of all the children to stick to the sock policy -- including Archie.

Isn't this mom at all concerned about what sorts of germs he might pick up from running around a public place barefoot? (Yikes. I shudder to think.)

Again, I'm not trying to be insensitive in the slightest. (Really ... I'm not.) But those rules are in place for the health and safety of everyone. And if this boy has an issue with wearing socks -- maybe she shouldn't have taken him to a place where socks are required. (Just a suggestion.)

I understand that some rules are meant to be bent and broken. But when it comes to proper hygiene, I just don't see how there's any room for argument.

Who do you think is in the wrong -- the mom or the zoo?

 

Image via NAR studio/shutterstock

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autism, toddler health