BALL GROUND, Ga. -- A Canton mom claims she and her son, who is diagnosed with autism, were kicked out of a popular metro Atlanta tourist stop when the boy had a meltdown.
Heather Baird claimed the owner of Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground threw them out during their visit. She posted a video to YouTube shortly after, which more than 3,000 people and counting have now seen. Since the video is making the rounds, 11Alive is sharing both sides of the story.
From her couch in her Canton home, Baird walked 11Alive through her visit to Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground on April 4.
“He started having a tantrum,” she explained to 11Alive's Chris Hopper. “So he started screaming."
Baird said her attempts to get her 11-year-old son Joey, who has autism, out of the house backfired.
“I look and I see a woman coming down from the manor, and she says, 'I can hear him all the way up at my house,'” Baird said.
That woman Baird described was Sally Gibbs, co-owner of Gibbs Gardens with her husband Jim.
“I said, 'We’re trying to get him out of here,' and she was like, 'Yeah I definitely think you should get him out of here,'” Baird said. She said her family eventually left, but she said she was sobbing after the incident.
When she got home, Baird posted a nine minute video clip to YouTube, which now has more than 3,000 views.
“It was upsetting, it was horrible," Baird said in the YouTube clip. "I tried to hold it together while she was there because I didn’t want to cry in front of her."
The video drew a lengthy response from Jim Gibbs in the video's YouTube comments. His response told a much different story, one in which his wife Sally tried to help and even offered the boy a cookie.
Gibbs said in part, "My wife and I are completely dumbfounded why the mother would post this video on YouTube making her accusations, when everyone's goal was simply to assist her and help her remove the child from any potential danger. At no time, did my wife yell or scream at the mother or order her to leave Gibbs Gardens."
Baird said in light of what happened and considering it's Autism Awareness Month, she wants this situation to be an example for others.
“I want everyone to know that’s not the way you treat people. To be kicked out of a place is embarrassing,” she said.
11Alive News went to Gibbs Gardens for an on-camera interview, but the attraction is closed on Monday. 11Alive also tried to call and email Sally and Jim Gibbs, but never received a direct response from either of them on the issue.