A Mom’s Tale of Kindness From Another Mother to Her Special Needs Child Has Gone Viral

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Parents of children with special needs know all too well about the comments and looks their kids get from others in public. Leah Carroll — the mother of a child with special needs — recently found herself in a “public” situation, but things turned out better than what she was used to.

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Carroll and her son Malachi recently visited a Chick-Fil-A restaurant when they encountered another family. “To the mom of three at Chick-Fil-A: I sensed your panic when your five year old (sic) son pointed at my son in his wheelchair and shouted ‘Mom look at THAT boy!’ You leaned forward and quietly told him and his three year old (sic) brother that we don’t say things like that and they shouldn’t point or stare,” Carroll wrote in a Facebook post. While Leah Carroll was initially fearful of the encounter, the other mom defused things brilliantly. “You took the time to educate your sons in that moment and help them understand that different is okay,” Carroll wrote. “Different is not something to fear. And that it was okay to ask questions!” Carroll concluded her post with a sincere thanks to the woman. “Thank you for giving my son a chance to meet your kids,” she wrote. “Thank you for being the type of mom who educates your children instead of frantically trying to silence them.” Leah Carroll’s story, originally shared on May 4, quickly went viral. As of May 11, the post received over 70,000 shares, over 100,000 likes, and over 5,000 comments. In addition, the story has been picked up by mainstream media outlets like People.
After her initial post went viral, Carroll posted a video of her son reacting to the thousands of comments they were receiving. With the video — which has received over 52,000 views as of May 11 —  she included this message:
On Thursday I posted something that I wanted all of my mom friends to see- little did I know it would take off like wild fire. I have been fighting the feelings of embarrassment mixed with joy that so much awareness is being spread. In reality, this is not about my Malachi but about all children with differences. Malachi is a terrible sleeper so we are always up from 3-6. Last night I was telling Malachi about some of the messages we have been receiving and he just couldn’t stop giggling. I grabbed my phone and caught a new sentence from him: “I love them”. He also says “hi” and “bye”. Getting just one of those words is a celebration in our home, so getting all three in 30 seconds makes it post worthy haha. Enjoy!
Looking back, Carroll is glad that she decided to share the story on social media.
“Everywhere we go, we tend to turn heads as it is not often you see a 4-year-old in a wheelchair,” she wrote to Your Daily Dish. “So many times I hear young children ask their parents about my son only to be scolded and quickly moved away for fear of offending me. While I did want the post to reach the Chick-Fil-A mother, my intent was more focused on assuring my young mother friends that Malachi and I welcome them to come and introduce themselves, as this mother had done. I know before having Malachi, I too would have been unsure how to act in these situations and thought the experience could be a learning one for my Facebook friends.”
Carroll was also blown away by the massive reaction to her story.
“Never did I imagine that it would go beyond my social circle, let alone be received so well,” she wrote to Your Daily Dish. “We are very grateful for the opportunity to spread awareness to others!”
Be sure to SHARE this story of tolerance and acceptance with everyone you know.

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