Our 17 year old Son who has Autism was harassed and mistreated by a Rite Aid employee in Tustin CA. He was getting his water bottle out of his knapsack to take a drink when an employee confronted him and said " I saw you take something. I need to search you ". Our son shut down and didn't know how to respond to such a demand. My husband and I both approached the employee and asked what the problem was and why he was yelling at our teenage son. He did not acknowledge us and continued to demand to search our son. Did the employee not notice he struggled with eye contact? That he was having a difficult time communicating or finding words? That he started struggling to catch his breath? That our son couldn't look directly at him while he was being yelled at??? After he searched him and found nothing , the employee did not apologize nor offer any explanation. We have gone to this location since before our son was born. And have taken him here to get Ice Cream at least 4 times a month since he was 5 years old. If your store had been properly trained to detect the basic signs of someone on the spectrum, you would have known he was ON THE SPECTRUM. This has really effected our son. And now is a bit paranoid that he will be harassed when he is shopping. Rite Aid management acknowledged he was mistreated and agreed to have the Autism Awareness training that I have found for them. But their Corp. only approved it to have it done at their Tustin store. And not even for all their employees. ONLY 3 of them attended the training ( the employee that harassed our son , and the store and district manager ). No other employees were included in this training. We feel that with the rising number of kids and teens with autism , all their stores should be properly educated and trained how to appropriately and effectively approach or communicate with someone on the spectrum. We want them to implement this free training in all their stores. We want to improve Autism Awareness everywhere so no one would be mistreated like this again.
Please sign and share this petition to your family and friends. Lets show Rite Aid that we as a consumers in their communities STAND for Autism Awareness and Proper Training for all their stores. Just because they are a big Corporation, does not mean that they can treat someone this way and not listen to what WE have to SAY! Please sign, not only for our son, but for anyone on the Spectrum, or anyone that feels they dont have a voice. We are their voice!