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.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Actions speak far louder than words.

It never fails. After a tragic mass shooting, social media is filled with posts offering thoughts and prayers. Politicians give long-winded speeches on the chamber floor or at press conferences asking Americans to do the thing they’ve been repeatedly trained to do after tragedy: offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers. When no real solution or plan of action is put forth to stop these senseless incidents from occurring so frequently in a country that considers itself a world leader, one has to wonder when we will be honest with ourselves about that very intangible automatic phrase.

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik brilliantly summed up what "thoughts and prayers" truly mean. In a 1.5-minute clip, Jeselnik talks about victims' priorities being that of survival and not wondering if they’re trending at that moment. The crowd laughs as he mimics the actions of well-meaning social media users offering thoughts and prayers after another mass shooting. He goes on to explain how the act of performatively offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families really pulls the focus onto the author of the social media post and away from the event. In the short clip he expertly expresses how being performative on social media doesn’t typically equate to action that will help victims or enact long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t to say that thoughts and prayers aren’t welcomed or shouldn’t be shared. According to Rabbi Jack Moline "prayer without action is just noise." In a world where mass shootings are so common that a video clip from 2015 is still relevant, it's clear that more than thoughts and prayers are needed. It's important to examine what you’re doing outside of offering thoughts and prayers on social media. In another several years, hopefully this video clip won’t be as relevant, but at this rate it’s hard to see it any differently.

Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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