When Lauren Nordberg’s 6-year-old son, Elliott, had a dentist appointment, she knew it was going to be a rough day. Elliot has autism, so she spent a long time getting him ready for the visit. As a reward, she promised him pancakes at his favorite place.
While the dreaded dentist appointment went well, unfortunately, the pancake trip did not go as spectacularly as hoped. Since it was a holiday weekend, the restaurant was crowded, which meant they couldn’t sit at his favorite table. Nordberg described what happened on Facebook, stating:
“I should have known better than to take him out for lunch after a dentist appointment, but he was so excited for pancakes and I promised so there was no turning back.”
Right after they ordered their food, Elliot began to have a meltdown–so his mom decided to take Elliot outside until the food was served. While Nordberg is used to strangers’ mean remarks, she noted that it doesn’t always make it easier to deal with in the heat of the moment:
“You can see them making comments. I’ve heard comments and snide remarks before like, ‘He should show mom more respect.’ I’ve had people tell me I should spank him.”
When Nordberg asked for the bill, the store manager didn’t bring the check, but something else instead. Apparently, another patron already paid their bill, and left this note instead:
The day did end with tears, but they were tears of joy and gratitude. Both Nordberg and the manager cried at the compassionate gesture. A little understanding can truly go a long way. Elliot’s mom knows this only too well (as do all parents), as Nordberg aptly said:
“Life with autism is already hard enough as it is. Just a little understanding goes a long way.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. All you really do need is love.