The problems faced by the parents of autistic children are many, which can sometimes cause problems when it comes to dealing with the general public. What’s perceived as odd behavior by those with little understanding of the disorder can deal emotional blows to the psyche of those parents.
When it comes to the standard practice of shopping for back-to-school items, those with perfectly healthy children don’t put a great deal of thought into the actions of store employees. However, in the case of British mother, she was touched by the caring attention offered by employees of Clark’s, a shoe store based in the United Kingdom.
In late August, Gem Salter took her six-year-old son, River, to the store, which can often serve as a challenge. That’s because of the presence of crowds and the noise that’s inevitably involved, which can create fear and trepidation in those suffering from autism. Salter realized that River would likely react in that fashion, which resulted in her noting the problem to one of the Clark employees.
That employee, Aaran Daniels, was especially cognizant in dealing with the issue, which Salter noted in a social media post. Daniels immediately took Salter and River into a staff room in the back. In order to avoid the prospect of someone suddenly walking in, he also placed a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door.
Even with those precautions taken, River was still exhibiting indications of anxiety. To address that issue, Daniels patiently allowed the child to try on a number of different shoes.
When the shoe was finally chosen, Daniels concluded the sale by suggesting that any subsequent trips to the store could be handled before the start of the business day by simply setting up an appointment. That would allow River to choose a pair of shoes in peace and quiet.
After posting her message on August 30, Salter was inundated by over 6,700 comments, including a pair from a representative of the company itself. Other messages noted that Daniels has previously exhibited compassion for others with similar disorders.
An individual named Sam Gee noted that his daughter suffers from Down Syndrome, with her agreeable nature often making it difficult to receive a true assessment when it comes to an answer. Gee wrote that simply asking her if a shoe fit well or was comfortable could be a problem. Yet Daniels’ patience again made things much easier from Gee and his daughter.