We all know how it feels when your child has a public meltdown, and you feel the whole world is staring and tutting at you. So it’s wonderful to hear this mum’s tale of the truly lovely note, above, that a stranger left for her when her son, who has autism, had a bit of a ‘moment’ in a busy restaurant.
Lauren Nodberg, from Washington in the US, took her little boy Elliot, 6, out for lunch, as a treat after a visit to the dentist, but, within moments, Elliot became unsettled by the noise and the crowd in the restaurant.
“One of the things about autism is, they love routine,” Lauren told ABC News. “Elliot expects that, when we go in, he will sit at his favourite table and would know some of the waitresses.
“He had a meltdown. It’s not a tantrum. It’s not going to go away… he’s yelling, he’s screaming, he’s really upset [and] people start giving us looks.
Lauren was so flustered and embarrassed, she took her son outside to calm down. “After several minutes of stares,” she later posted on Facebook, “I took him outside until our food came, so he could have his moments without me getting all the stares.
“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.
“He calmed down when he saw food, ate the food, then amped right back up again.”
We can all imagine how Lauren was feeling by the time she went to get the bill. But there was such a nice surprise waiting for her.
“When I asked for our receipt,” she says, “[the restaurant owner] presented me with this note. Someone else had paid our bill.
“There is good in the world, and this mama is thankful for the kindness of strangers.”