Autistic boy gets ice-cream after row over order time

Nathaniel Reynolds tucking into one of his favourite ice-creams at home.
Nathaniel Reynolds tucking into one of his favourite ice-creams at home.
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An 11-year-old autistic boy finally got the ice-cream he had been promised – two weeks after it was ordered at a Spalding Wetherspoon’s pub.

Nathaniel Reynolds took 45-minutes to be consoled when he was refused a pudding at the Ivy Wall and, because of his condition, couldn’t understand why because “he had been a good boy”.

But after complaining to the pub in New Road, his mum, Ros, said it took ten days and the Lincolnshire Free Press being copied into an email before they were offered a complimentary meal – including the pudding Nathaniel had been promised.

Ros said: “It was a Belgian waffle ice-cream sundae – Nathaniel loves his ice-cream and we had a lovely time. But anyone with an autistic child will understand how upsetting our experience was.”

A Wednesday evening had been chosen for the meal out with friends because it was a quiet night at the pub. Ros said she ordered the starters and mains first, so the puddings were a reward if the children behaved.

She said: “The person who took the order said a lot of parents did that. At no point did anyone mention the 9pm cut-off time.

”Service had been quite slow but when I finally went to order the puddings a member of staff said ‘Sorry, sorry you have to go, so sorry’.

“Not only were we refused a pudding because it was 9pm, but we were being thrown out.

“I ended up having a major meltdown on my hands, which anyone who has an autistic child will fully understand and appreciate.

“For those that do not know, autism is a communication disorder and they do not understand if something is not in its right place.

“My son had done everything right, had behaved and so was duly expectant of the dessert to come. He was unable to understand why he could not have it.”

Wetherspoon’s spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “The pub manager and the company (Wetherspoon’s) has apologised for the incident.

“At no point was the child’s condition noticed by the duty manager so this was not the reason for the family being asked to leave.

“Due to family dining regulations Wetherspoon’s asks that family’s dining with those under the age of 18 order food before 8pm and depart the pub before 9pm.

“We apologise that the family was not made aware of this at the time of placing their order.

“Wetherspoon’s has since invited the family back to the pub for a complimentary meal, which they have now enjoyed. We trust that everything has now been resolved to their satisfaction.”