The mum of a child with autism was left in tears when heartless shopping centre staff called her 'ridiculous' for taking her autistic son into the disabled toilet.
For 23-year-old Erica Ferguson, negotiating shopping centres is a challenge. With a baby that needed changing, and a toddler with autism, disabled bathrooms are a Godsend.
On this day, she needed to change her baby and the low-stimulation environment of a disabled toilet helps her do what she needed to do.
Asking the attendant to let her into the disabled bathroom she was stunned at the response.
'I got really upset when she said to use the women’s instead of the disabled toilet we needed - Flynn was starting to wake up, and if he did by someone drying their hands he’d have a meltdown.'
Eventually she was let in to a disabled toilet, saying the attendant was muttering that she was 'ridiculous' - but it didn't have a change table. But by this point Erica was exhausted.
'Having a disabled child comes with lots of issues, but I’ve never experienced something like this before with people being so rude for no reason,' she told the Liverpool ECHO.
'He has a blue disabled badge on his pram too.'
The Estate Director for the shopping centre, Chris Bliss, says he was 'shocked and saddened to hear about this incident.'
Looking into the incident Bliss adds that the centre is 'passionate about ensuring we do everything we can to make the Liverpool ONE experience as enjoyable as it possibly can be for all our customers.'
This article first published on New Idea.