Every day we hear of way too many stories in which children with autism and their families face challenges, ignorance, and outright abuse. So it's heartwarming to come upon one in which they receive spontaneous kindness and compassion. This story out of Utah is a great one that will restore a little of your faith in humanity.
It happened at a Chili's in Midvale, Utah, when 7-year-old Arianna Hill was having lunch with her older sister, Anna MacLean, 25, before going to visiting the Easter Bunny. According to Good Morning America, Arianna, who has autism, ordered a cheeseburger, but didn't want to eat it because it was cut in half, or "broken," in her mind. She told her sister, "I need one that's fixed."
Her sister was quick to try to remedy the situation, but fully expected to pay for another burger. She told ABC News:
Our waitress came back over and I felt bad. I don't really expect people to understand these special requests, so I just told her to add a new burger to our bill. I just told her to charge it to us and she said, 'No way.' She was just so sweet and played along with Arianna.
She said their server, Lauren Wells, didn't just replace it for free, but she personally apologized to Arianna for the mistake. Then the manager came over and apologized as well. The line cooks even got involved. All of this completely thrilled Arianna, especially when her new "fixed" burger came back. MacLean said:
When she brought it back out, Arianna said, 'Oh, thank you! You brought me a fixed cheeseburger.' She sat there and looked at it and said, 'Oh I missed you,' and kissed it over and over again.
It's such a little thing, but what a big difference it made to this little girl and her sister. MacLean posted the photo online, and the story has since gone viral. She wrote on her Facebook page:
I was so touched by this experience. Especially since I know people who have been asked to leave restaurants when their child with autism is being disruptive. I expected a few different things with this scenario based on past experiences, but I did NOT expect such kind and compassionate mannerisms.
Way to go, Chili's. If only more people took the time to give that little bit of extra compassion and consideration, the world would be such a better place for children with autism and their families ... and for everyone else too.
How much do you love this story?
Image via Facebook