Anna Kaye MacLean and her sister Arianna, a seven year old girl with autism, went to Chilis. Before the waitress could even say, ” “Hi, welcome to Chili’s, I’m Lauren and I’ll be your waitress,” Arianna excited told her entire order: chocolate milk, a cheeseburger with pickles and a side of fries. Anna watched her sister devour the fries but saw she wasn’t touching her cheeseburger.
“It was really, really bizarre,” MacLean told CNN in a phone interview. “Arianna loves anything in a hamburger bun. She’s obsessed with hamburgers or ‘Krabby Patties,’” an ode to one of Arianna’s favorite cartoon shows, Spongebob Squarepants.”
Anna asked her sister if she was going to eat her cheeseburger. Arianna responded, “no, I don’t want it. It’s broked. I need a new one that’s fixed.”
It’s standard policy to cut a chil’s burger in half in order to ensure the meat is fully cooked. Arianna started crying and Lauren returned to their table asking if anything was wrong. Anna assured her that there was nothing wrong with the food and explained how her sister had autism and saw the cheeseburger as being “broken.” Anna asked if she could order another one and stated she would pay for the additional one. “But instead of speaking to MacLean, Wells leaned over to the little girl and addressed her directly, saying, “Ohmygosh! I brought you a broken cheeseburger! I’ll go get you a new one.” Lauren spoke with her manager Brad Cattermole, who said he would gladly replace the “broken” burger for a new one. Cattermole, too, stopped by the table and knelt down to speak with Arianna at eye level to apologize again. “You know, I heard we brought you a broken cheeseburger and I am so sorry. We’re back there making you a new one, but let me bring you out some french fries while you’re waiting.” When the new ‘unbroken’ cheeseburger was brought out Arianna said, “Oh, I missed you,” and starting kissing the top of the bun.
This is such a cute story. It shows how sincere the waitress, manager and other co-workers were to the little girl. It talks about a real touching experience between Arianna and them with real compassion and professionism. Just like Anna says, I also hope it helps people realize that not every child screaming in a restaurant is a “brat” and that some may not be able to control it. I believe this is a great heartwarming story that many people should read and be more aware of autism.