(Published with permission; names changed for privacy)
My name is Mary and my 16 yr old son John has autism. He is having a very rough transition freshman year into high school. John had many turn away from him because of his behaviors this year, which has led to further poor choices on his part, too. We have struggled many tough situations, so I have been trying to find things to get him out of the house and explore new things. Last night, we made reservations at your restaurant (he likes to swear –not too fond of that as a mom, though!) and I thought… just to try to connect more… oh, what the hell…let the swearing go for one night. We came in and the first thing he noticed was your sign, “Are we open, Hell yea!” and laughed. It is good to see him smile and laugh (Yep, as a mom with a special needs kid, still trying to let go of the swearing thing!).
While we were waiting to be seated, I noticed your cookbook and started reading it. Your story was quite amazing through the trials, but it gives me hope for John. We also recently got him further help as his behaviors are getting hard for others to understand, especially teens his age.
Then I also noticed you’re planning a fund raiser for PACER next week. This organization has been such an amazing gift to me. My son had so many issues at school, they helped me navigate through a tough time. I was so thankful for them and glad to see your support. John also has low athletic abilities, he’s not quite interested, but we are thinking of Special Olympics, too, so it was great to see you support a part of a community that doesn’t get noticed very often.
So, John just woke up and I told him that I was writing you this note and asked what he wanted to say about your restaurant in the email. He told me to tell you, “I thought it was GREAT!”
Thank you for what you do! Love from the SW Metro, Mary and John.