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

She went above and beyond.

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!


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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.

Heroes

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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