Manager's small act of kindness helps a young girl struggling with autism

[June 4, 2021: Ron Johnson]



It started off as a typical day of grocery shopping for Lindsay Moore and her daughter Adysen, but for Adysen, a young girl living with autism and developmental challenges, the day wasn’t typical, in fact, it was quite the challenge.


"We walked through the store, [Adysen] was screaming, hitting and crying," Moore said. "When she cries she gets very loud."


The two were near the store’s checkout when Ady started to get overwhelmed, Moore said other shoppers were staring and that’s when a store manager intervened.


"I was kind of in and out of the aisles and could hear Ady." Haley Smith, front store manager, Hy-Vee said.



Smith said she knew the young girl wasn’t having a typical child’s tantrum, that’s when she looked down, saw a package of cookies, and had an idea.


"I just grabbed one, ripped it open, and handed it to [Ady] and she lit up," Smith said. "Her attitude changed instantly."


Smith’s quick thinking did the trick, and her big heart sealed the deal.


"I offered to pay for the cookies and [Haley] said nope, enjoy your shopping," "Just the gesture of Haley offering to help made both mine and Ady’s day."


The small gesture meant a lot to Moore, who said people usually react differently when Adysen is struggling.


"A lot of times people will make comments about her screaming," Moore said. "They’re quick to judge on things and the way that people act towards her behavior isn’t always the best."



Smith admitted she didn't realize the impact of what she did until later.


"It didn’t hit me until I got on Facebook and saw the posts for myself," She said. "I teared up a little bit."


Both Moore and Smith said the experience left them with a deeper appreciation of what it means to be kind.


"I didn’t think I would have impacted someone like that just with a simple cookie," Smiths said. "I just kind of thought it was me doing my job."


Moore said she wanted to shine a light on Smith and spread positivity, she encourages others to be kinder to families in her situation.



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