Natalie Fernando – a mother from Hockley, England, has thanked a stranger for calming down her son who has autism.
Whilst Natalie Fernando and her son Rudy were walking along the beach at Southend-on-Sea, Rudy began to have a meltdown and went on the ground.
Due to training for a 250-mile race, Ian Shelley was running when he saw Natalie and her son Rudy. He then decided to lay down and talk with the 5-year-old boy until he was calm.
Rudy was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. His other conditions include global development delay, speech and language difficulties, sensory processing disorder and learning difficulties.
Natalie described Ian as her “hero” and was stunned by his selfless act of kindness. She stated, “To see someone who knows nothing about Rudy just instinctively do this was very surprising and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.”
Fernando runs a Facebook page that raises awareness for children with special needs by showcasing her journey with Rudy. Her post about Mr Shelley’s selfless support has reached over 95,000 Facebook reactions.
“I just cannot believe how it has reached so many people that either have special needs in their life and can relate, (or) more importantly those that do not have special needs in their life, being able to see how important it is for us to not be judged and showing others how much it means to us and our children to be accepted for what they are,” Fernando said.