Mom pens moving thank you note to theme park staff for how they treated son with autism during 'meltdown'

Mahira Dayal
A mom thanks the staff at Universal Orlando Resort for their expertise and compassion in helping her autistic son enjoy his day at the theme-park (Source: Lenore Koppelman/Facebook)
A mom thanks the staff at Universal Orlando Resort for their expertise and compassion in helping her autistic son enjoy his day at the theme-park (Source: Lenore Koppelman/Facebook)

A mom is applauding the “magical” staff members at Universal Orlando Resort for their compassion and expertise in making her son’s experience at the theme park special during his first visit.

Lenore Koppelman posted a heartwarming story on Facebook about her family’s trip to the theme park in Orlando, Florida, on May 29, during which employees were responsive to her son Ralph’s needs every step of the way when he had what she called an “autistic meltdown.”

“Ralph is awesomely autistic, and we are proud to be a neurodiverse family,” she wrote. “As wonderful, loving, intelligent and incredible as Ralph is, sometimes he struggles.”

In her post, Koppelman described how excited her son was to visit the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man attraction at the park. She explained that the Spiderman ride, which was near the exit, was the ride Ralph was looking forward to most. But when they finally reached the front of the line, the ride broke down.

After waiting so long, and then being disappointed, Ralph “collapsed onto the floor while crowds of people were attempting to exit the ride and the gift shop attached to it,” Koppelman wrote. “He began sobbing, screaming, rocking, hyperventilating, and truly struggling to breathe.”

According to her post, an employee named Jen immediately rushed over to help and lay down on the floor with him, speaking calmly and encouraging him to do whatever he needed to feel better, the Facebook post said. Jen was successful in calming Ralph down, and even offered him a free gift from the park gift shop to make him feel better.

According to the post, employees at Universal Studios all receive training to make sure they’re equipped to work with persons with special needs.

Koppelman went on to thank the other employees who helped her family during their visit, writing that she wants them to “get the applause they deserve.”

“THANK YOU for recognizing that Ralphie is a GREAT kid. A SWEET kid who just struggles with certain things (as we ALL do, neurodiverse or not). THANK YOU for treating him with SO much kindness and patience. THANK YOU to your supervisors and whomever trained you so well,” she wrote. “THANK YOU for paying such close attention. THANK YOU for BEING THERE for us today, and for making us feel like Ralph's well-being was your top priority. He is OUR top priority because we love him more than ANYTHING and ANYONE, but you all only just met him today. And yet you behaved as if you were family.”

People who saw Koppelman’s praised Universal Studios for placing importance on educating their employees so well.

“Thanks to all the staff that are prepared and know how to reacted in a situation like this, people need to know, specially customer service representative, nurses, police, sheriff, stores employees, etc that it's our responsibility as adults to be compassionate with all children,” commented one person.

“Thank you for sharing! You are amazing people! Kudos to Universal and their employees!” another added.

Yahoo Lifestyle has reached out to Universal Studios for comment. In a statement provided to Fox News, a representative said “We are proud of Jen and the very personal way she took care of our guest. All our team members are dedicated to providing the best possible experience for our guests every day. And we are proud of all of them."

Lenore Koppelman did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.

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