Grocery Store Helps 7-Year-Old Autistic Boy Feel Welcome
Seven-year-old autistic boy Dylan Russel loved helping his mother Michelle shop at their local Asda grocery store and during one of his many visits, Dylan started stacking and tidying up the baskets near the checkout counters to keep himself occupied.
While Dylan was doing so, Michelle asked the check-out runner Gareth if it was alright for the boy to continue what he was doing and the Asda employee said, “of course.”
“He was such a friendly and pleasant lad and I chatted to him and his mum before they left,” shared Gareth.
The check-out runner didn’t realize the impact of his short conversation with Dylan until the boy saw him again the following week.
“I didn’t think too much of it until the next week when he came again, saw me and said, ‘Hello Gareth, how are you?’ I knew that I’d made a little friend! That time I got him to hold one of the signs we use to point out a free checkout,” said Gareth.
From then on, the Asda employee made sure that Gareth would always have something interesting to look forward to in his weekly visit to the grocery store.
“We knew he would be coming back the week after so we made him a name badge, which he loved and took home with him,” Gareth shared. “It’s just been little things really to show him what we do and make him feel welcome when he comes to the store,” he added.
Gareth and his other colleagues even organized Dylan to experience a VIP store tour where he witnessed first-hand how things run and work in the store, he even had the chance to make his own pizza.
Michelle is truly grateful for the acceptance and warmth everybody had shown Dylan, saying: “I can’t thank Gareth enough for everything he’s done for Dylan. The store tour was absolutely brilliant – Dylan loved it and we’re so touched. He’s in his element when he’s in the store.”
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