Sometimes it’s the small things in life that make a big difference. You never really know what someone else is going through, so when you lead with kindness and try to spread happiness in your corner of the world, it can impact others in a way you didn’t even think was possible.
That’s what happened when a McDonald’s employee served a boy with autism and his sister one day, and went the extra mile to ensure the boy had a good experience. The next thing the server knew, he was flooded with praise.
A Special Visit
One day a woman named Katie Deyes took her 16-year-old autistic brother, Alex, to eat at the McDonald’s in their neighborhood of North Wales, UK. It turned out Alex had been there the day before with his caregiver, and the young man at the counter, Aled, recognized him.
“The carer told us how Aled had encouraged Alex to order his own food and find the right money to hand over without rushing him,” Deyes wrote in a Facebook post.
She then explained that during her visit, Aled remembered that her brother didn’t drink his fruit shoot out of the bottle, so he gave him an empty cup. He also came over to the table and offered to swap out the Happy Meal toy, since Alex had received the same one the day before.
“My brother loves collecting these toys, so getting an extra, new one was really exciting for him,” she continued.
When Deyes and her brother had finished eating, Aled also took time to say goodbye, which went a long way with Alex.
A Lasting Impression
The whole visit was a success, which meant a lot to Deyes. She explained in the post how taking Alex out could be a difficult task and the family usually opted for the drive-through as a result. Because of the service Aled had provided this time, however, the family had an exceptional time.
“He was feeling really happy and has asked if we can go back again to sit in and I believe that’s because Aled was so friendly towards him! I know Alex, myself and all of his family and [his] carer really appreciate how he was treated and looked after,” she wrote.
“Aled made it fun and easy for us both to go in and for Alex to enjoy his meal without any funny looks or comments. Aled is a credit to the McDonald’s team (and McDonald’s as a whole), and I felt he deserved a mention and massive thank you,” she continued.
The post quickly went viral and even McDonald’s took note. “We are delighted with the consideration and thoughtfulness Aled has shown to Katie and her brother Alex,” a spokesperson told the Mirror.
Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes
When you have a family member or friend with autism, things other people take for granted can be challenging and difficult. That’s why it means so much when you try to do something routine, like going out for a meal, and are met with patience and kindness by the people providing the service.
It’s a nice reminder that we never really know what someone else’s experience is, but by trying to put ourselves in their shoes and treat them the way we want to be treated, we can do our part to make our corner of the world a better place.
You never know how much that kindness may mean to a person or how it can make their corner of the world a better place, too.