A YOUNG boy with autism was refused entry to a café because he had his assistance dog with him.
Kate and Murray Kosovich took their son Noah, 9 to a popular café in Melbourne, Australia, when they were turned away at the door because of Claudia, the support animal.
Kate says her son was traumitised over the incident and their day was ruined.
She told Sunrise: “Noah was not happy at all. He hopped under a blanket in the car on the way home and that’s how we travelled home.”
Claudia is not any different from a guide dog, assisting Noah to conquer many of his anxiety triggers.
Kate previously told the Herald Sun: “She does this beautiful thing called the ‘nudge’, just saying ‘hello I’m here, can you give me attention’.
“He’ll just pat her quietly, and it’ll bring him out of what’s going on in his head.”
Although the refusal of entry was difficult to accept, Kate says the attitude of the cafe manager made the incident worse – and it was noticed by other diners.
Kate said: “It is hard learning how to handle the dog and going out in public.
“So you know, just to be met with someone that says blatantly ‘no’ is absolutely wrong.
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“I would hate that to happen to someone else. It’s not right at all.”
She says the family looked to one another for support during the confrontation, but Kate kept thinking how the decision could impact others who might also rely on a service dog.
Kate said: “Imagine if this was someone with visual impairment or you know, one of the guys with PTSD, and they were by themselves or a young adult with their first assistance dog going out to a cafe.”
Attempts have been made by Kate to speak with the cafe about the incident but she’s been unable to get them on the phone.
Autistic children who have an assistance dog “show remarkable improvement across their social, verbal and cognitive skills”, according to Service Dogs Australia.
Autism spectrum disorder is a condition which can affect a person’s communication skills and their ability to socialise.
It is an incurable, lifelong developmental condition that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.
Around one in 100 people are affected in the UK and is three to four times more common in boys than in girls.
Many people with ASD find it hard to understand other people’s feelings and emotions, and they may have difficulty holding conversations.
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When they are young, their language development may take longer and they can struggle to use facial expressions, using gestures to communicate instead.
They may also find it hard to connect with other people and to hold eye contact with unfamiliar individuals.