Layla Luna is an Olympic trained gymnast, internationally acclaimed dancer, and
single-mother of three children. Layla’s oldest son, Rio, was diagnosed with Autism
Spectrum Disorder nearly 10 years ago, catalyzing Layla’s mission to make the world a
better place for those with special needs.
Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often have unusual or intense responses
to their environment and exhibit behaviors that can be difficult to understand and manage.
Parents are often reluctant to go out in public with their children due to concerns about
how their child may be perceived or treated. Too often, they experience negative and
hurtful interactions with others.
Layla Luna found herself in one of these difficult interactions one evening at her local pizza
restaurant. Facing an unusually long wait in a hectic environment, her son Rio starting
having a sensory-overload meltdown – screaming, crying, and banging his head. The other
customers quickly became aggressive and insulting, prompting the restaurant to kick Layla
and her children out. Embarrassed, heartbroken, and disillusioned, Layla could only
reconcile the experience as a lack of understanding and awareness, not a lack of
Layla realized that, had the employees of the restaurant understood what was happening,
they could have helped diffuse the situation quickly and without incident. After all,
employees undergo training for harassment, anti-theft, food handling, discrimination…
Shouldn’t there be sensitivity training for those with special needs?
With that thought in mind, Just Bee was formed.