Service animals for autistic children/people are often like service animals for people that have seizures or who are prone to strokes. The dogs are able to sense when an episode, seizure, attack, stroke or outburst are coming on and if the individuals are with familiar people they may be able to get help. All individuals with autism are different and who knows maybe one of the kids could've been visually impaired and needed the dog for more than comfort. However, I can guarantee that the mom did nothing to deserve a punch in her face. That was ridiculous. Having special needs kids is difficult enough and then being stalked and attacked in a public place for bringing them and their service dog out makes it worse. Makes one wonder if the off duty now fired manager didn't have some unresolved behavorial issues herself.