Why has this 6-year-old’s shoe shopping trip gone viral?

"Crowds, long queues and noisy places. The store was heaving!" We've all be there, right? So why has this story been liked 300,000 times?

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Any parent who’s EVER been shoe shopping with their little one knows that it is, perhaps, the worst shopping experience you can possibly have. 

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When they’re young, your tot won’t stay still, and it seems like they have hardly ANY shoes in the right size.

As they get older, the week-before-school shoe shop scramble becomes INSANE. Plus it’s a miracle if you and your child can agree on what pair to get. Aggghhhhh!

Deep breath 😥

So we reckon you’ll totally get this story, from mum  Gem Salter of Ipswich, who took her 6-year-old son River to a local Clarks shoe shops only to find it was hideously noisy and crowded.

As River has autism, what can be a distressing and hugely stressful situation for any parent and child was magnified – but when Gem explained their dilemma to one of the shop workers, he went the extra mile, by putting a Do Not Disturb sign on the staffroom door and measuring River’s feet away from the bustle of the busy store.

Gem’s post 

Gem shared the story on Facebook, saying:

“Last week we brought our 6 year old son, River, to the Clarks Village outlet store in Street to be measured for school shoes. Being autistic, he really struggles with crowds, long queues and noisy places. The store was heaving! 

“I knew there was no way he would cope with that environment so I explained the situation to a member of staff.

“Without hesitation, Aaran led us away from the noise and crowds to a staff room and placed a Do Not Disturb sign on the door. He was very patient with River, who was anxious, and went and got lots of different shoes for him to try on. 

“We left with a great pair of shoes, a very happy boy- and Aaran also gave us the store number and said they’d happily book us an appointment before the store opens so that it’s quiet.

“Autism acceptance at it’s best!!

“Thank you Clarks in Street, and a massive thanks to the shop assistant Aaran Daniels.”

The reaction

Gem’s post got almost 300,000 reactions and more than 39,000 shares – and as you can imagine, so many people were truly heartened to hear about what Aaran did.

One person wrote: “It’s a breath of fresh air to hear of such acceptance whilst you’ve been out and about instead of rash judgement and disapproval from people.”

Another said: “Fantastic. It’s good to know that there are still some understanding people around instead of just ignoring people’s needs. Well done.”

Here here, Aaron, we say – great job 👏 👏

What do you think?

How do you handle buying shoes for your kids? Do you find it one of the most stressful shopping experiences ever – or do you have some tips for how to make it a bit less infuriating?

Tell us in the comment below or over on Facebook

Photo: Gem Salter on Facebook

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