A Dozen Good Eggs

Monday, April 12, 2010


I don't go to McDonalds any more. why? because I have a child with orthopedic problems. McDonalds doesnt care that their high chairs won't work for kids with ortho problems. The first time it happened my eyes were opened to how life would be a battle for this child. so I went to bat for her. I spoke with management who gave me the smile(you know the one, yeah I will look into it, smile smile have a nice day, now get lost smile.)

I contacted the corporate McDonalds. emailed them. Spoke with them on the phone. Oh yes we will look into that. Has anything changed? No.

We went after a long hiatus to McDonalds in another area. Same problem. I couldnt even get management to LOOK at me to try and talk to them about it. I noticed a sign on the way out about calling with complaints or comments. I called immediately and..... GOT AN ANSWERING MACHINE! I left a message with my home phone my name my cell phone my issue. I have not heard ONE WORD from them.

The fix is so simple. a couple of cheap booster seats in each store. problem solved. but no. nothing. If my business is not important then I will go elsewhere. I will spend my eating out dollars somewhere else. Somewhere that will acommodate us. If I put my daughter on a regular chair she is at risk of falling off and getting hurt. if I hold her in my lap then I cant eat. Either way its a loss for McDonalds. but they must have enough customers, they dont want our business.


  1. I definitely understand where you are coming from. With triplets (especially when they were younger) and now with two children with orthopedic special needs, it is hard to find places with all of the accomodations you need in order to meet their needs. When Evan first came home his legs were much like Sophie's. I could get him IN to the high chairs, but it was hard (and painful) to get him out (it only took once for me to figure out that wasn't a good idea).

    BUT. . .the fix is not as simple as it may seem. Unfortunately, one of the reasons that most restaurants no longer have booster seats available is because they are a liability. Children can slide out of them or the boosters could slide off the seats and people could hold them liable for any injury incurred. I know it seems ridiculous, but we live in a sue-happy society and sadly, businesses have to look out for their own interests in order to remain in business (which in turn effects our children with special needs). It isn't so much that these places don't want to make a difference in the lives of our children with special needs (McDonalds certainly cares. . .I don't know where we would be without Ronald McDonald House Charities), but sometimes their hands really are tied.

    That being said, even though we are blessed to live in a society with MANY adaptations and accommodations for those with disabilites, we will likely ALWAYS be lacking in some area because there are so many different special needs and needs/accommodations associated with them. I have learned that we cannot expect society to adapt to us in all circumstances so sometimes we have to teach our children to adapt to society. When it comes to restaurants, like McDonalds, we bring our own boosters (we have always kept a few in the car since the triplets were little. . .even when there ARE boosters/high chairs, there were never enough for all three). Now that the boys are in wheelchairs when we are out and about, they just sit in their chairs and slide up to the tables. Even though it is often inconvenient to haul around all of the necessary "equipment" that we need in order to accommodate our children out in society, it is just as much our responsibility as parents (maybe moreso even) to provide these things for our children.

  2. yeah val I know they cant acommodate everyone. and ok if boosters are a bad idea why not get high chairs that dont have a bar across the top BARRING many children from their use? I have bought several high chairs throughout the years and none have a bar across the top. Surely Someone somehwere makes restraunt quality high chairs without a bar across the top. I can understand the one between the legs to help keep them in. and even a bar across the top cant take the place of parental supervision. Many kids can slip out of that in a matter of seconds like little houdinis. Yes its my responsibility to acommodate our kids but it is just as much public places responsibility to make things easier to access. if a door wasnt wide enough to enter with a chair would I need to bring a crow bar to provide them access? those high chairs arent easy to get kids into and out of even if you werent different. I dont see why they cant come into 2010 and meet us halfway. the high chairs are outdated. and well, quite frankly if I cant eat because I have to be the chair then I will go somewhere I can. If McDonalds doesnt care about customers with special needs, then why shouldn't I spend my money elsewhere where they make an effort?

  3. Believe me, I have asked the same questions many times (I have several friends who are restaurant owners/managers) and the response is always the same. The highchairs with the bars across top are an additional safety measure and, sadly, one most feel they have to take because of the society that we live in. I remember a time when all restaurants had boosters and highchairs without bars, but it has been YEARS since I have seen them in ANY estblishment and this is why.

    I think the first thing that needs to happen is that we as a society need to stop jumping at every opportunity to file a lawsuit so that businesses feel that they are able to offer these accommodations without the fear of being "taken to the cleaners" if something were to happen. Do you know that when they discharged Evan from the hospital a few weeks ago with a spica cast, they gave me a carseat specifically designed to accommodate a child in a spica and then REFUSED to tell me how to use it (or provide instructions of any kind) because it was a liability!?! Ridiculous! Honestly, I think THAT is the root of the problem and where the real fight needs to begin.

  4. I TOTALLY agree that this society is too litigious! TOTALLY! No amount of "added protection" can protect a child from their parents inattention. in no way should a facility be held accountable for parental stupidity. and the hospital giving you a seat WITHOUT instructions sounds more like a liability than PROVIDING them! how IS Evan doing? was he able to sit more in a more stable manner after his legs were straightened?

  5. That's what I said about the carseat! Isn't it MORE of a liability NOT to tell me how to use it!? I guess they just figure if "I" install it wrong, they can blame it on me because "they" didn't tell me that was the correct way to install it?!? Again, utterly ridiculous!! And really, really sad. It is sad that our children are put into that position (in a carseat, in a restaurant, etc.) because people are afraid that, if they make a wrong move, they could be sued!

    Evan is MUCH more stable now that his legs are straighter. Most of the time I still have him sit in his wheelchair in restaurants if that is an option, simply because it is more comfortable for him, but he IS able to sit in a chair now without me worrying as much that he will take a tumble (when he first came home, there was no way I could sit him in a chair without worrying about him falling or sliding out).

  6. we dont have a wc yet. she is so small we just use a stroller but she cant sit at a table from that. if she had working arms that would be no prob to sit in the stroller but she cant get the food to her mouth then. unless it is unbuckled so she can prop but that puts us right back at dangerous. I sent another letter to McD. not that it will do any good but seriously there ara THOUSANDS of kids across the country with various disabilities who cant use those seats and that translates to MILLIONS of dollars lost revenue if we all go elsewhere, which I made very clear I would.

  7. We have been using a rental wheelchair for Evan for the past 2+ years (and it is more of a fancy stroller than a wheelchair). He uses it for school, at church and when we are out and about (though I often use my double stroller when we are out so that Joshua can ride too, so often Evan sits in the stroller when we go to restaurants). Evan has no use of his arms (he is missing all of the muscle in both arms) so I generally have to help him eat no matter where he is sitting (though, if he is up high enough, he can lean down to the table and pick things up with his mouth- this is how he feeds himself at home).

    Have you been to any restaurants recently that supply boosters or highchairs without the top bar? It has literally been years since I have been anywhere with either of those accommodations. That is why we simply bring our own. Using your own is also nice because you know it is a good fit for your child (Evan doesn't fit well in most boosters) and you know where it has been and who has been sitting in it!

  8. I dont get out much but I have been in places where the seat flips so its either set in low and a high chair or flip it and its like a tall booster. Thats how sophie eats. she props her arm and comes to it. She has amyoplasia too. she does a FAB job of feeding herself. but only if she can prop her arm. and she does a better job of it than I do! lol thats my BIGGEST complaint about meals, she eats, no mess, I feed her.....MESS! I laugh about it every stinkin night. every time I attempt to help feed her I make a mess of her. I usually take the double stroller when I go anywhere long walking but usually only go to fast food when its me and kids. if Eric is with us we can go to a nicer place, I just dont have enough hands to do that alone. So I cant manage hauling sophie keeping ben upright not losing maia and dragging a booster too! It takes me longer to open the stroller and set it up than it does to walk in to a restraunt lol. so I usually dont take the stroller in.