Mom shares a heartwarming photo of the school custodian comforting her autistic daughter
via Hollie Bellew-Shaw / Facebook

For those of us who are not on the spectrum, it can be hard to perceive the world through the senses of someone with autism.

"You could think of a person with autism as having an imbalanced set of senses," Stephen Shore, assistant professor in the School of Education at Adelphi University, told Web MD.

"Some senses may be turned up too high and some turned down too low. As a result, the data that comes in tends to be distorted, and it's very hard to perceive a person's environment accurately," Shore continued.


People without autism are good at filtering out unnecessary sensory information and remaining focused on what's happening around them.

"But when a person with autism walks into the room, he notices things that aren't as relevant – the sound coming from outside the window, a pattern in the carpet, a flickering light bulb," Geraldine Dawson, PhD, chief science officer for the education and advocacy group Autism Speaks, told Web MD.

RELATED: Snow White soothing a boy having an 'autism meltdown' will make you believe in Disney magic

Ms. Esther, a custodian at Passmore Elementary in Alvin, Texas, is the perfect example of someone who understands the autism spectrum and backs it up with unbelievable heart.

Hollie Bellew-Shaw's daughter, Kenlee, who has autism, was overwhelmed by the loud noise in the school cafeteria so she went on the stage to lay down. Ms. Esther saw Kenlee lying there so she laid down next to her to comfort her.

"Our school custodian is literally the best, sweetest individual in the world," Bellew-Shaw wrote on Facebook. "[Kenlee] wanted no part of being in the cafeteria this morning with all the noise so she laid down with her blanket on the stage. When Ms. Esther saw her she came and laid next to her and patted her back."

RELATED: How a United Airlines crew handled an autistic 4-yr-old's meltdown is pure human excellence

"All schools should be so lucky to have their own Angel on campus. Feel free to share so she can get all the appreciation and thanks she totally deserves," Bellew-Shaw wrote. The mom finished the post by adding several emojis and a puzzle piece — the symbol for autism awareness.

This school district reposed the photo saying, "This goes to show you that a kind word, a hug and a little compassion are all it takes to make a huge difference in a child's life," it wrote.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of children with autism is on the rise. This story is a great reminder for all of us to do what we can to learn more about this disorder so we can provide the best comfort for people like Kenlee when they feel overwhelmed.

Learn more at Autism Speaks

True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
Sarita Linda Rocco / Facebook

Americans are more interested in politics than ever these days. More voted in the 2020 election than in any other in the past 100 years. Over 65% of the voting-eligible cast a ballot in the contentious fight between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

"People are very excited and paying attention even though there are all this bad news and high 'wrong track' numbers in the country," Nancy Zdunkewicz, managing editor at Democracy Corps, told The Hill.

It's wonderful to see that a greater number of Americans are standing up to be counted and demanding their voices be heard. But it's also the symptom of a deep level of discontent many people feel about their country.

Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
via Stone Gasman / Twitter

While generational stereotypes don't apply to everyone, there are significant differences between how Baby Boomers (1944 to 1964), Gen X (1965 to 1980), and Millenials (1981 to 1996) were raised.

Baby Boomers tended to grow up in homes where one parent stayed home and the other worked outside of the house. Millennials are known for having over-involved "helicopter" parents.

Then, there's Gen X.

The smaller, cooler generation that, according to a 2004 marketing study "went through its all-important, formative years as one of the least parented, least nurtured generations in U.S. history."

Keep Reading Show less

The U.S. Surgeon General credits the new surge in COVID cases to "pandemic fatigue," but it's nothing compared to what healthcare workers on the frontlines are going through. TIME recently reported that nurses are experiencing burnout, but it often goes unseen. A nurse recently employed a social media trend to draw attention to the behind the scenes fatigue.

An ICU nurse posted her own "how it started/how it's going" photo on Twitter, and long story short, it's not going that great. The before photo of Kathryn, an ICU nurse in Nashville, was taken in the middle of April right after she completed nursing school. The after photo revealed just how much literal sweat and tears healthcare workers put in while treating people during the pandemic.


Keep Reading Show less