Mother Of Autistic Boy Claims IKEA Discriminated Against Her Son

ikeaplayroomIKEA has three prongs to its stores’ playroom policy — a height restriction, a potty-training requirement, and no adults. A Kansas mom says this last rule is discriminatory to her son and other children with autism who require the presence of an adult caregiver.

The mom tells Kansas City’s WDAF-TV that she wanted to treat her 9-year-old with a visit to the store’s playground after they finished shopping. But an IKEA employee told her that she could not go inside the room with her son.

She claims to have offered to let her son go into the playroom on his own, but the employee allegedly told her he couldn’t because she’d already disclosed that he had autism. The store denies that this happened.

Further discussions with different managers proved fruitless, says the mom.

“It’s unbelievable in this day and age when we have so many freedoms and rights that a company policy actually denies the child a right to play with other children,” she tells WDAF.

A rep for the retailer tells the station that IKEA doesn’t have policies dealing specifically with children with special needs, but maintains that rules are rules and they exist for good reasons.

“There are certain pieces that we need to hold in place for the safety of all the kids that come,” she explained, “which is just that we need to make sure that they’re potty trained, they’re within those height restrictions, and that no outside adults are allowed in with them.”

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