Mom of child with autism says family was told to leave restauran - WSMV Channel 4

Mom of child with autism says family was told to leave restaurant

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Dalia Galaviz says her family was asked to leave Cici's Pizza in Smyrna when her son with autism was making a disturbance. (WSMV) Dalia Galaviz says her family was asked to leave Cici's Pizza in Smyrna when her son with autism was making a disturbance. (WSMV)
SMYRNA, TN (WSMV) -

A mother said she has a story she must tell to step up for her young son with autism. She said a pizza place told her family to leave because her son was making a disturbance.

"I feel like God blessed me since the moment he allowed me to be a mother," said Dalia Galaviz, sitting in her Smyrna yard watching 2-year-old son Donny play. "He's my heart, and I'm his voice. We found out he's autistic back in February. It's not hard to have an autistic son. It's hard to get people to understand what autism is."

Galaviz claims she, Donny and other family members were at the Cici's Pizza in Smyrna on Thursday when she was approached by a manager.

"He said, 'Ma'am, I'm going to have to ask you to leave the restaurant,'" she said. "He said, 'Your son is being a disturbance to the peace of the restaurant, and I have had several people complain about him already.' When I told this guy my son was special, he said, 'I understand, but unfortunately, people don't care about that.' I felt hurt. I have had people tell me before my son was being a little too loud but not to the point that I have to leave a public place for my son's actions. I was in tears. I just wanted to go outside and hug my son. I said I'm sorry to him for not being able to be strong enough to step up for him."

Owner of the Cici's Pizza, Keith Spencer, told Channel 4 there's no truth to Galaviz's story.

A representative for Cici's Pizza's corporate office sent a statement saying:

At Cicis, providing excellent customer service and respecting all customers is of the utmost importance. It is unfortunate that some recent guests feel they were treated inappropriately. Our management tried to respond amicably and resolve the issue before it escalated. At no time did we ask the family or any family member to leave. Our goal is to provide a safe and enjoyable dining experience to each person.

Galaviz said she had no reason to make up anything.

After sharing her story on Facebook, the restaurant's page has received several complaints referencing what Galaviz said happened.

"I never felt so humiliated in my life," she said. "It's about the humiliation this guy did to us by telling us to leave the restaurant in front of all of these people. My son may not have a voice, but he has me. I will always fight for him and his rights. It's hard. If we don't step up for them, who else will?"

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