As I was trying to convince my daughter, Casey, to take her finger out of her ear and wash both hands, the middle stall door opened and a young girl of about nine came out. She took one look at my 5’9” adult son, Rob, rocking and humming by the restroom door and got a scared look on her face.
“It’s OK sweetie — he’s with me. He can’t go into a bathroom by himself,” I tried to explain over his humming. “Buddy, come here so she can wash her hands.” My son came right to me, but he wasn’t happy. The little girl darted out and I felt like crying. My daughter finally finished washing her hands and we could leave the bathroom — only to be confronted by the little girl, her angry father and a mall security guard.
“What the hell was that guy doing in the bathroom with my daughter?” the father yelled at me. His yelling upset my kids even more. Rob really started rocking back and forth, and Casey began to giggle her nervous giggle.
“They both have autism — he can’t go into a bathroom by himself, unless he’s the only person in there,” I tried to explain.