Dunkin' Donuts employee dances with autistic customer in touching video: 'I love my customers'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Donna Simon
    Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
Staten Island, N.Y., Dunkin’ Donuts employee Bryan Lara danced with Donald Simon, a customer with autism, and made his day. (Photo: Donna Simon via Facebook)
Staten Island, N.Y., Dunkin’ Donuts employee Bryan Lara danced with Donald Simon, a customer with autism, and made his day. (Photo: Donna Simon via Facebook)

A Dunkin’ Donuts employee and his autistic customer danced to a Lady Gaga song in a delightful Facebook video that’s gotten more than 127,000 views.

On Friday, Donald Simon, 26, who is autistic and nonverbal and from Staten Island, NY., visited a local Dunkin’ Donuts. He was with his aid, Angela Jasmine, who also takes him to basketball, pottery and piano lessons.

Employee Bryan Lara came to their table to say hello. “When we’re not too busy, I always make a point to talk to my customers,” Lara, 36, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I know most people’s names and their drink orders.”

Sometimes the Staff at Dunkin Donuts does a floor show to ensure their Special guests are having fun! Thank you for rolling out the red carpet for Donald… at the Dunkin’ near Trader Joe’s. #Dunkin’ #autism #ellen #statenislandadvance #DunkinDonutsDancingDude #SpectrumNewsNY1 #humankindness

Posted by Donna Maxon on Friday, January 4, 2019

Simon asked for Lara’s name several times and mirrored his movements, and Jasmine explained that he had autism. So when the Culture Club song “Karma Chameleon” played over the store’s speakers, Lara started dancing, and Simon copied all his moves.

Then, Lara says, “Lady Gaga’s ‘Paparazzi’ came on, and I asked Donald’s aid to film us.” The five-year employee started shaking his hips, and Simon did a little chair dance, gave a thumbs-up and then high-fived Lara.

Jasmine sent the recording to Simon’s mother, Donna Maxon, who put it on Facebook, writing, “Sometimes the Staff at Dunkin Donuts does a floor show to ensure their Special guests are having fun! Thank you for rolling out the red carpet for Donald…”

Staten Island, N.Y., Dunkin’ Donuts employee Bryan Lara danced with customer Donald Simon in a touching Facebook video, forging a special bond. (Photo: Courtesy of Donna Maxon)
Staten Island, N.Y., Dunkin’ Donuts employee Bryan Lara danced with customer Donald Simon in a touching Facebook video, forging a special bond. (Photo: Courtesy of Donna Maxon)

Maxon tells Yahoo Lifestyle that Simon made a friend. “When you’re on the spectrum and nonverbal, the word friend isn’t used that much, and it touches the heart of a special-needs mom.”

She’s surprised that Lara connected with her son without special-needs training. “Bryan has shined a light for so many people … it’s human kindness,” Maxon says.

“I am always dancing, and when I saw Donald smile, it was a great feeling,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I love my customers so much.”

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.