Maybe I'm naive, but I expect people to do the right thing, and am surprised when they don't.
I think that is why the ADA experience at the mall surprised me so. As an update, I did send an email to the VP explaining that their policy is wrong and likely a violation of the ADA, and I received a response back from him that said they would review their policies. Now I just hope they do the right thing, and I don't have to take this further. But just in case, I am thinking through my next course of action to escalate in case they do not.
I fear that this isn't the only time I'm going to encounter an experience where people are not doing the right thing for someone with 'special needs', which very well could include my sweet baby Matthew. I've heard from many parents in my school district that their children's special needs haven't been met at the school. Scary stories of having to 'opt-out' for private schools, hire special needs advocates, attorneys, move school districts, and the like. I get anxious thinking about these stories-- because at this point I don't know what I don't know.
I don't know anything about the special education in our school district, or special education law, or how to find advocates, or attorneys, or special schools. But I'm trying to calm myself, reminding myself that a lot can change in the 3 years before Matthew gets to be school aged. And I didn't know a lot about genetics, physiology, development, medicine, and anatomy 2 years ago when Matthew was born. The learning curve was steep, but I feel like I made it up the curve as I needed to for Matthew. Now I just have a new learning curve to climb, and thankfully I've got a bit of time to get it figured out.