Sometimes it’s the smallest gestures in life that are the most thoughtful and appreciated.
Leslie Carpenter’s 5-year-old son, Asher, has autism. One important task any Kindergartener learns is how to tie their shoes, but it’s not so easy for Asher. Every morning Leslie ties Asher’s shoes and puts him on the school bus, but he comes home every afternoon with them untied. “He has times where he cannot control himself and has ticks and unties his laces. He cannot re-tie them. He does this for multiple reasons, but it’s become a daily occurrence,” Leslie said.
Asher felt upset and ashamed every afternoon with his un-tied laces. Leslie was heartbroken and at a loss of how to help her son since she was afraid changing his style of shoes would not help him overcome the behavior in the long run.
Two days ago, everything changed. When Asher got off the school bus, Leslie noticed his shoelaces weren’t dangling. In fact, they weren’t even the same laces that had been in shoes just that morning. “I looked down at his shoes and thought, ‘What are those? Where are his laces?’ I looked down and realized they are special laces,” she said.
Inside his backpack was a note with information about the new, special tie-less laces. “I teared up. I couldn’t believe that someone went out of their way to help him and even found these special laces I had no clue about. I just want to thank whomever that came into Miss Lefevber’s kindergarten class and did this for my son. He’s so proud of his new laces and has not touched his shoes out of habit once,” Leslie said.
Leslie went on to explain that she now realizes it’s not that important for Asher to have traditional shoelaces; it’s more important to meet and manage his special needs. “His smile, and to see him confident about his shoes means everything. Thank you Glenwood Heights Primary School for your amazing staff and those around our children. You’ve sincerely touched my heart and your kindness to my son and his special needs when you didn’t have to, and this day in age it is very easy to just treat a child as ‘another head’ in a classroom,” Leslie said.
Turns out the Good Samaritan was Asher’s occupational therapist, Carolyn Torricelli. Carolyn didn’t know that such a simple gesture would make a huge difference in two lives. “I’m not the only one raising Asher, there are a lot of people raising him,” Leslie said. “To have somebody care that much to go above and beyond is a beautiful thing.”
Leslie shared her story on Facebook and was excited to read all of the uplifting responses from friends and strangers alike. Her story has been shared over 300 times.