All parents have experienced their child having a meltdown in public. Sometimes, there’s just nothing you can do to stop it.
While you try and comfort your child it it feels like the eyes of the world are on you, judging your parenting skills and pitying your situation.
For those parents of a child with autism, a meltdown can spiral out of control very quickly and helping to calm your child and keeping them safe can be very difficult. For 9-year-old Ralph, finding out that the Spider-Man ride he had waited so patiently to go on was broken was, understandably, a very upsetting experience.
As he began” sobbing, screaming, rocking, hyperventilating, and truly struggling to breathe”, another superhero stepped in to calm him down.
When you see how this sweet boy with autism was treated and the compassion of the staff around him, you’ll understand why this story is being shared around the world.
Lenore and Steve Koppelman had taken their son Ralph to Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park in Florida.
The excited family from New York worked their way around the theme park with their son Ralph, who waited very patiently for each ride.
But the one ride he was really looking forward to was the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, however, due to its location, the family decided to save that one for later.
The wait was long, but Ralph was very understanding as the excitement bubbled up inside of him.
As it finally got to his turn the family arrived at the gate to find that the ride had broken and the news that Ralph wouldn’t be able to ride it that day was broken to him.
Understandably Ralph was extremely upset. In a Facebook post describing the incident his mom said he “lost it.”
“We could see (the meltdown) coming, like an oncoming train. And yet we couldn’t dodge out of the way. The autistic meltdown was GOING to HAPPEN. And happen it DID.”
But then superhero and resort worker Jen came to the rescue and not only helped Ralph but his concerned parents, who were worried that their son would get hurt lying on the floor in the middle of a crowd of people.
“She got down on the floor WITH HIM. She rested next to him while he cried his heart out, and she helped him breathe again,” Lenore said in her post.
“She told people to keep on walking around them, so they would stop standing there and staring. And then she told him it was okay for him to be sad and feel this way. She understood.
Kindness and patience
“She would feel the same way too. His feelings were validated. And she told him he could lay there with her as long as he needed to until he felt better.”
After the experience Ralph was taken to the gift shop to choose something and his mom took to Facebook full of praise for the staff.
“THANK YOU for treating him with SO much kindness and patience,” Lenore added.
The post went viral with over 90,000 responses and thousands of comments praising the staff and their excellent training.
Now his family say they are saving for another trip so Ralph can experience his favorite ride, but next time they plan on lining up for it first.
Please share to pay tribute to the wonderful Jen and her skills in helping Ralph have a fantastic experience with his family.