Universal Orlando Resort. For many people from around the US and even the world, going here can be the trip of a lifetime as they manage tor bring imagination to life. For one family, the Koppelman's, it became so much more.
Lenore Koppelman's son, Ralph, has autism. They took a family vacation to Orlando, and, while visiting one of the parks, Ralph set his heart on a Spider-man. After hours of wandering through the rest of the park, they were going to cap their visit off with the Spider-man ride. Waiting in line, Ralph was ecstatic, but, upon reaching the front, the ride was declared broken. As people filed out, Ralph had an "autistic meltdown".
He threw himself on the ground, rocking and screaming. Rather than be intimidated and unsure of what to do, one employee, Jen stepped up to the plate and showed true compassion and inclusion.
She laid down next to him, ensuring that people walked around the two of them, rather than stopping to stare. She spoke to him calmly, assuring his that she would also be upset if this had happened to her and that he could continue to let it out until he felt better. Rather than pushing him aside, she validated his feelings and frustrations, rather than brushing them aside. For the remainder of the meltdown, she stayed by his side, until he had calmed down enough to stand and move out of the vestibule for the ride.
Then, she went a step further. She told Ralph to pick out anything he wanted from the gift store and bought it for him. For Ms. Koppelman, it was a relief that someone had cared enough to stop and help. She took to Facebook in a post which sang the praises of both Jen and Universal Orlando as a whole. The post, which has now gained news attention and over 42,000 shares, is posted below, outlining, in detail, how the ordeal occurred.
Jen's actions that day went above and beyond what she was paid to do. She could have simply helped other patrons and overlooked Ralph, but her heart and compassion showed through and she went the extra mile. Her actions evened the playing field and allowed for Ralph to have the same fun experience as every other person in the park.
And that's all I really wanted to say. I know there can be a lot of negative thoughts surrounding how much of a difference one person can really make, but this is living, breathing proof that one person can make a world of difference. YOU can be that difference.