Parents of children with autism know how challenging it can be when certain situations trigger the kid to have a meltdown.
It is also difficult to tell what could trigger meltdown moments, so understanding and positive responses from others are needed to prevent such instances.
7-year-old Arianna from Utah was dining out with her family when a potential meltdown situation was avoided, thanks to this witty and kindhearted waitress.
Together with her husband, Anna MacLean and her sister Arianna, 7, went to Chili’s Grill and Bar in Midvale for a meal.
Because Arianna has autism, MacLean knew that her younger sister could have a meltdown at any moment.
“We always expect to have to pay for our meal early on and leave because Arianna gets too overwhelmed. But sometimes she surprises us, it’s unpredictable,” MacLean told TODAY Moms.
The 7-year-old almost had a meltdown at the restaurant when she ordered her favorite meal: a cheeseburger and French fries.
When her delicious meal was given to her, Arianna didn’t want to touch her food.
“I asked her ‘aren’t you going to eat it?’ and she told me she didn’t want it because it was broken,” MacLean recalled. “It quickly dawned on me why she wasn’t eating it, because it was cut in half.”
Then, MacLean asked the waitress named Lauren Wells for another burger because her sister thought it was broken and not because something was wrong with it.
“It was amazing, the interaction immediately went from me explaining the situation to Lauren, to Lauren talking directly to Arianna. ‘I brought you a broken cheeseburger?!’ Lauren asked, ‘You know what, I’ll have them cook you a new one!’ … If Arianna had seen me and Lauren talking, and then all of a sudden Lauren took the burger away, she would have had a complete meltdown,” MacLean expressed.
Brad Cattermole, the restaurant manager, also apologized to Arianna.
When the new burger arrived, Arianna was so happy and she said: “Oh, I missed you!” before kissing the burger multiple times.
MacLean was grateful to both Wells and Cattermole for preventing a potential meltdown.
“Lauren could have taken the cheeseburger from Arianna without explaining what she was doing, Arianna could have had a meltdown, we would have had to skip her visit to see the Easter Bunny, Arianna would have gone home upset, she wouldn’t have had a good night’s sleep, she would have woken up tired the next day, and the whole weekend would have been ruined!” she expressed.
What do you think about the waiter’s actions? Do you agree that all people should be like her when interacting with people with autism? Let us know in the comments section below!