Gym won't take 'kids like that'

2012-12-07 11:21


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Cape Town - A Pinelands mother is furious after a Virgin Active branch said it couldn’t allow her autistic son to join a class for children.

“Unfortunately, we don’t take children like that,” the Claremont branch told her when she tried to enrol him in a gym class, reported the Cape Argus.

Shannon Gukelberger was livid as her son Luc, 14, is considered to be high-functioning on the autism spectrum.

A Virgin Active spokesperson apologised on behalf of the gym and said the wrong choice of words had been used.

Gukelberger tweeted about the incident and was later informed by the gym manager that they did accept children with special needs, but that her son was already too old for the supervised class for children between the ages of 8 and 13.

She has since cancelled her gym contract. 

“As a mother of a child like this - you spend your whole life fighting for your child to have a normal life,” she said.

Virgin Active said it would try to find a solution.

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