A simple act of kindness can go a long way.
Natalie Fernando was taking her five-year-old son, Rudy, for a walk by the sea in Essex when Rudy — who is on the autism spectrum — began having a meltdown.
As Fernando explained on her Facebook page, Better to Be Different, Rudy “loves walking, but hates to turn around and walk back, we usually try to walk in a circuit to avoid this but on his favorite walk with the boats, we have no choice but to turn back. This will often lead to a meltdown, one which I can normally handle but on the back of two weeks out of school today was too much for him and me.”
The promenade is a very popular strolling spot, and Fernando knew that Rudy’s outburst would draw a lot of attention, especially because his meltdown could go on for about an hour.
As Rudy lay on the ground, a stranger named Ian approached the two and asked Fernando if she was okay. After Fernando explained what was going on, Ian lay on the ground, close to Rudy, and started talking to him.
According to Fernando, Ian quickly turned the situation around, calming Rudy, and then began to walk the boy and his mom back to their car. “I am so thankful for this chap Ian; I will not forget his kindness,” she wrote.
Fernando hopes others will be inspired by Ian’s act of kindness. She also hopes that if people witness a similar meltdown in a public place, they are compassionate instead of judgmental.
“If you see a parent struggling, maybe take the time to say, ‘Are you ok?’ Don’t judge the parenting, try not to judge the child, just be kind. We’re all walking our own path and navigating the journey the best we can, sometimes it takes a moment of kindness from a complete stranger to completely change your day.”