Stranger Helps Boy With Autism By Laying Down With Him Amid A Breakdown

When 5-year-old Rudy, who has autism, had a meltdown on a walk alongside the beach, one man made all the difference by working to help calm him down.

Having compassion for others is one of the most meaningful traits a person can possess and spread throughout their everyday life. For people who have special needs children, this fact rings especially true.

Natalie Fernando, mother to 5-year-old Rudy who has autism, is accustom to the disapproving stares from strangers she receives when her son has an uncontrollable public meltdown. And a recent meltdown while on a walk alongside the beach was no exception.

“My son loves to walk, but he hates to turn around and walk back, we usually try to walk in a circuit to avoid this but on his favourite 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,” Fernando explained on her Facebook page, Better to Be Different.

Prepared for what might be an hour-long meltdown, Fernando was apologetic to passersby, yet stares and comments quickly ensued. In came the hero of the story: a man named Ian.

Ian stopped first to ask Fernando simply if she was ok. After explaining the situation, Ian did something most people would not be brave enough to do – he laid alongside the young boy and began engaging in a conversation with him.

This singular act quickly turned the situation around and enabled Rudy to calmly return to his mother’s car to go home. Ian’s kindness and compassion changed this mother and son’s day, but it also helped to inspire other.

“It’s said a lot at the moment, ‘In a world where you can be anything, be kind,’” Fernando wrote. “Words are easy, these actions are not always so easy. This man is living the words and I couldn’t be more grateful…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.”