The discussion started because someone complained about a child sat a table near them who was watching a portable DVD player at dinner. Now then, to an extent I agree that it was discourteous to other diners and irresponsible to allow the child to have their cartoon on loud enough that it was disturbing other guests. I would have been a bit miffed myself if I'm honest. That's where headphones come in. What harm is it doing to other guests if the child was watching their DVD with headphones so as not to disturb those nearby? Some children like to colour in at the table (like Amy), some like to play on their gadgets (this is the 21st century, get over it), and some just like to sit quietly with their family. Each to their own. When we've been out for a meal, which isn't often, Amy usually takes her Nintendo 3DS and has the sound turned off. This is to keep her occupied. Yes, she is 12. Yes, she probably shouldn't need to have something to occupy her anymore, but she does. I don't think her autism is mainly to blame, it's just the way she is. I would much rather have her occupied and quiet than be causing a nuisance and disturbing other guests. Comments were made that children shouldn't need gadgets and DVD players at the table and should be made to enjoy family time. Well I'm sorry, but even though I know that would be an ideal world, no one has a right to judge someone else's child or how they have been brought up.
So while I can see both sides to the whinging that took place on that particular thread, I did point out that I would not be dictated to by someone who's opinion was that children should be seen and not heard at a dinner table. I respect others as I would wish to be respected in return. I wouldn't allow Amy to disturb other guests and I will ensure that she behaves impeccably whilst at the dinner table. But she's a child. Children are unpredictable. Children with autism are even more unpredictable. Live and let live; I do wish people could adapt this attitude, especially when they're on holiday. Some of us, like me, will have spent a year saving up for a luxury two weeks in the sun at a five star All Inclusive resort. No one's spoiling my fun, and they're certainly not going to spoil Amy's.