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

Anyone who has been to a Disney park has to admit that there's something to the whole "Disney magic" thing.

Usually, that feeling has something to do with the pristine, clean perfection of the place or the child-like wonder in the faces of everyone around you. But for the one family, Disney magic took on a whole new meaning this week.

Lauren Bergner told TODAY Parents that she and her husband had spent months preparing their 6-year-old son, Brody, for a trip to Walt Disney World. Brody has autism and is non-verbal, and he sometimes has a hard time with noise and crowds.

The family had gone from ride to ride on Sunday and Brody was hot and tired. By the time they got through the line to meet Snow White, he was in full meltdown mode.

It could have gone badly and they could have thrown in the towel, but Snow White somehow knew just what to do to make Brody comfortable.


Bergner wrote on Facebook:

I wanted to share an amazing experience that I had today Sunday August 25th in Epcot. My son Brody has Autism and is non verbal. We went to meet Snow White by the fountain at the Germany Pavilion at 4:00 this afternoon. My son was having a autism meltdown. He was crying and was overwhelmed and just having a hard time. Snow White was amazing with him !! She kissed, hugged and cuddled him. He was laying his head crying on her lap. She then took him for a walk away from the crowd! She was amazing. She held his hand , danced with him, took him over to a bench and sat with him. She went above and beyond!! She took so much time with him. She was a pure angel! She was magical and my family is forever thankful and touched!


RELATED: If you spot a 'sensory room' at a sports stadium, you likely have this couple to thank.

The photos show the Disney cast member cradling Brody in her lap, holding his hand as she walked around with him, and dancing with him. You can see in the progression of photos how his meltdown melted away, and he eventually looked like he was truly enjoying himself.

Lauren Bergner/Facebook


Lauren Bergner/Facebook


Lauren Bergner/Facebook


Lauren Bergner/Facebook

Knowing how to handle a child in the midst of a meltdown is tricky, and especially when the child has special needs like Brody. Bergner told TODAY Parents that her son loves hugs and soft, soothing voices, and she and her husband looked on in awe as their son immediately bonded with the princess.

This Snow White went above and beyond to help Brody calm down and gave him a special princess experience he and his family will never forget. Not only did her kindness move Brody's family deeply, but her actions served as an example to all of those people who witnessed it.

RELATED: A 4th-grader explains to class what having autism is like. The teacher was stunned by their reaction.

Another park goer who happened to witness the encounter captured a lovely photo that shows the princess's face clearly. The Bergners have already emailed the park and would like to identify the cast member to thank her for the time and effort she put into soothing Brody.

Lauren Bergner/Facebook

Here's to Disney magic, and to people who go out of their way to attend to the needs of every child.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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