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Parent Called Out For Giving Away Daughter’s Autistic Friend’s Food After Assuming She Was Done

Close-up front view of cute little girl eating fried chicken and yes, enjoying it.

Taking food from people’s plates can be a hot-button issue.

That’s why waiters get so nervous to clear under assumptions.

Some people like to let food linger on the plate.

So what is the etiquette in regards to finding out if people are done eating with leftover food?

Case in point…

A deleted Redditor wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for giving away my daughter’s friend’s last chicken tender?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My husband (41) and I (40) have five daughters: Avery(13), Bella(7), Cassie(6), Daria(4), and Emily(1.5).”

“The three middle girls are good friends with an autistic girl, Jenny (6), who regularly comes over to play with them.”

“We’ve also included Jenny in plenty of family outings, ranging from the beach to bowling to amusement parks.”

“Jenny’s mom has done the same for my girls, only she takes them with her one at a time as she’s also autistic and not used to caring for multiple children since Jenny’s an only child.”

“We had Jenny over for a sleepover this weekend and took her out for lunch.”

“Jenny and Daria ordered the same meal; chicken tenders and french fries, and I noticed that Daria finished her chicken before eating her fries, and Jenny ate all but one before moving on to her fries.”

“About halfway through the meal, Avery had to go to the bathroom and offered to take the younger kids with her if they needed to go.”

‘Bella, Cassie, Daria, and Jenny went to the bathroom with Avery while my husband and I stayed at the table with Emily.”

“While the older girls were gone, I saw Jenny still hadn’t eaten her last chicken tender and, assuming she wasn’t going to eat it, gave it to Emily, who ate a little more than half of it before her sisters and Jenny returned.”

“After sitting down, Jenny noticed her chicken was gone and asked what happened to it.”

“I told her, ‘You weren’t eating it, so Emily ate it.'”

“She said she was ‘saving it for last’ and looked like she was about to have a meltdown (which I still have yet to deal with in public).”

“So I took the little piece of chicken Emily didn’t eat and gave it back to her, but she refused to eat it because it had ‘baby germs” on it.”

“When Jenny’s mom came to pick her up later that day, she told her mother about it.”

“Her mom called me inconsiderate and said I should’ve waited for her to return and asked her before giving it away and told me that she often saves certain foods for last, too (must be an autistic thing) before having Jenny say goodbye to my girls and leaving.”

“My husband and I talked about this, and he said he agrees with Jenny’s mom’s point about asking her first.”

“I think she overreacted, and the kids haven’t brought it up.”

“Now that the weekend’s over, my husband suggested I take this to Reddit for an unbiased opinion, so here I am.”

The OP was left to wonder:

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP WAS the A**hole.

“YTA. Not only did you give someone’s food away, but you also attribute her saving food to her autism.”

“As someone not on the spectrum, I save bites of food for last because they look the best, and I save the best bite for last. Do better.” ~ COLGkenny

“So do I.”

“I actually DISSECT food, like a stoned toddler, to ensure I can eat bits in order from least to most appetizing.”

“I’m not autistic.” ~ Murphys-Razor

“I don’t disassemble a burger or anything (I do check to make sure nobody’s put a gherkin in it, but I put the lid back on to eat it), but given a plated meal, I will always eat the bits I like least first.”

“I’m not autistic, either. OP, YTA.” ~ This_Rom_Bites

“It’s just good sense to eat the less fun parts first.”

“Especially if they’re good for you.”

“And who doesn’t want to end a meal on a high note? YTA OP.” ~ most_unusual_

“Same. I am so deliberate in how I eat my food (Not autistic, though).”

“Even simple things like M&M’s have a color order (still not autistic).”

“In a meal, I always try to work out the ‘perfect bite’ and leave those bits for last (and yet, not autistic).”

“Nothing about this story requires the child or mother’s neurodivergence to be disclosed, and yet you include it constantly.”

“YTA for taking someone else’s food and being super ableist.” ~ GeneralLei

“Right. She’s not pissed off because she’s autistic.”

“She’s pissed off because OP was rude and inconsiderate. YTA.” ~ NatZaJu

“YTA. Also, not on the spectrum, but there’s a damn science to how I eat my food.”

“On Christmas, I’ll eat the veggies, then the turkey on a bread roll with some gravy on there, and finish off with mashed taters flooded with gravy with a s**t ton of corn mixed in.”

“I eat the food on my plate in order from least to most appealing.”

“My least to most favorite.”

“So if I was OP’s kid’s friend, I’d have god damn had a meltdown myself.” ~ ladyboobypoop

“All of this.”

“I don’t understand why adults can’t just admit to a child that they messed up and apologize, and when their parent calls them out, they apologize to them as well.”

“OP messed up and made a mistake; just apologize and promise to do better in the future.”

“Why do people need to double down on making a mistake?” ~ numbersthen0987431

“I believe what we’re pointing out too is OP labeling her saving the last chicken tender as being an ‘autistic’ thing and how awful and wrong that assumption is.”

“You’re also correct, and I didn’t even think of, that if she spends a lot of time with the family, how aren’t they aware of what could cause her to have a meltdown (and wouldn’t Jenny’s mom have told them as well?)” ~ Defiant_McPiper

“Saving it for last isn’t a specifically autistic trait, but that it might have an even more intense impact by disrespecting her (like it’s harder to regulate and move past and harder to trust when the adult is so absurdly dismissive) is legit because it’s just them admitting that what they did was that much worse (but thinking “autism” absolves it like the kid is wrong for being autistic — when really it’s just an added layer of abuse0.

“It’s bad to do this to any kid; it’s EXTRA bad to do it to an autistic kid.”

“They’re very YTA.” ~ Ok_Cry_1926

“She is autistic, but in this situation, it doesn’t even come into play.”

“It was really OP projecting any behavior that was different to the girl being autistic.”

“We never even had to know that the girl was autistic, and the whole situation reads the same.”

“It’s an adult taking a child’s food and giving it to someone else and then acting like the victim when the kid was upset about it.” ~ Incarcer

“Yep, OP you’re an a**hole on multiple fronts.”

“I’m not autistic, but if I eat something and really enjoy it, I will often save some to eat at the end, so I have that as my last taste.”

“I hope you learn to do better.” ~ Big-Imagination4377

“I am not autistic, and I do this.”

“For example, I have a system for eating a sandwich and fries.”

“I eat some fries.”

“Like a third.”

“Then I eat about half the sandwich.”

“Eat another third of the fries, and then eat the rest of my sandwich.”

“Fries are finished off leisurely.”

“I normally have a habit of eating things in sections so it all remains balanced. OP, YTA.”

“Food is a non-negotiable; keep your mitts off if it’s not yours.” ~ VehicleCreepy806

“OP is YTA.”

“I’m not on the spectrum, but save the best/favorite parts for last, like a reward.”

“And giving away something that belongs to someone (including perishable items like food) without asking is just bad manners.” ~ TrustComprehensive96

“Same! I was reading this, and as soon as she said what Jenny did, I was, ‘Oh, she’s saving the best for last,’ that’s like… a thing.”

“There’s even a saying about this! YTA.” ~ sleepyplatipus

“My sister saved a piece of sausage for the last 50+ years ago when she was a young teen.”

“My dad stole it off her plate and ate it.”

“She has never forgotten that, and she is definitely not autistic.”

“She still remembers this like it was yesterday (as do I, by the way).”

“Not like she was traumatized or had PTSD, but it was an AH move on my dad’s part, who honestly did it just to tease her.”

“Autism or not, it is rude to take anyone’s food unless you ask and they’ve specifically said they are done eating.”

“YTA, and a big one at that.” ~ Kooky_Protection_334

“YTA. The ages don’t matter here; the friend having autism doesn’t matter here.”

“The only thing that matters here is that you took food from someone and gave it away.”

“You are a parent, so I imagine you have your meals interrupted a lot. How would you feel if you got up to clean up a spill or to fill a cup and came back and your food had been given away?”

“That’s what you did. Period.”

“You took something without asking and then didn’t even apologize or fix the situation.”

“So you lack the manners you probably want your children to have.”

“Children can have autonomy and deserve to be treated with respect.”

“You would never do what you did to Jenny to an adult, nor would you want that to happen to your food.”

“Not only did you make an assumption that was wrong, you made that assumption out of a lack of respect for Jenny, and then you didn’t even attempt to fix the situation or apologize.”

“Also, none of this has anything to do with autism.”

“I save the best bite for last or the best thing on the plate all the time.”

“You don’t need to appear so confused and befuddled by what must be autism, she wasn’t done with her meal, period.”

“People eat food at their own pace and in their own way and it isn’t confusing to just leave their food alone.” ~ mfruitfly

Maybe next time, just wait an extra minute and ask before you give away another person’s food.

You didn’t have malicious intentions.

This can be a very teachable lesson.

Hopefully, everyone can talk it out and move on.