Facebook | Lenore Koppelman

Mom's Photo Shows Universal Orlando Employee Stepping In During Son's 'Autistic Meltdown'

Families of children with autism can find common tasks like going to the store more challenging. That doesn't mean that these families want to miss out on fun experiences like family vacations, though.

With the right planning, families with autistic members can have just as much fun as everyone else, especially when trained employees can step in to help.

That's exactly what happened to one mom who is sharing her incredible story of how a Universal Studios Orlando employee saved the day.

Lenore Koppelman is a mom to a young son named Ralph who is "awesomely autistic" as she puts it.

Facebook | Lenore Koppelman

The family recently took a trip to Universal Studios Orlando for a vacation.

While they were expecting to have a lot of fun and make some new memories, one moment from the trip stood out so much for Lenore that she just had to share it online.

As Lenore explained, sometimes Ralph is prone to having what she calls "autistic meltdowns".

Facebook | Lenore Koppelman

"This is Ralph's way of saying "I don't know how to monitor and regulate my emotions right now. I need help, please! I'm scared! I'm overwhelmed! I want to feel better and I don't know how!" she said in her Facebook post.

Many autistic people experience meltdowns.

Unsplash | Jordan Whitt

This response to overwhelming situations can involve crying, screaming, biting, physically lashing out or a combination of the former.

It's not the same as a temper tantrum and it is not "bad" behaviour. They just need someone who understands and can help them through it.

Ralph experienced one of those meltdowns at Universal Studios Orlando when the Spider-Man ride he had been waiting all day for broke down just as the family was about to board.

Facebook | Lenore Koppelman

"Ralph collapsed onto the floor while crowds of people were attempting to exit the ride and the gift shop attached to it. He began sobbing, screaming, rocking, hyperventilating, and truly struggling to breathe," said Lenore.

However, a keen employee at the park saw Ralph and rushed over to help.

Facebook | Lenore Koppelman

Jen, the employee, laid down on the ground with Ralph and spoke to him calmly, staying there with him until he felt better.

When Ralph had recovered, she offered the family something from the gift shop for free to make up for the broken ride.

Lenore took to Facebook to share this incredible story of how Jen helped Ralph during his meltdown.

Facebook | Kimberly Kerstetter

Since sharing the story and photos of Jen laying on the ground next to Ralph, Lenore's post has gone viral. Many people commented and applauded Jen for stepping in to help Ralph.

Lots of people were happy to hear that the staff at Universal Studios knew how to handle guests with Autism.

Facebook | Laura Kosnoff Fennewald

It seems that more companies are becoming aware of the need for this type of training. With proper training, employees can respond to every guest's unique needs.

Many people related to Lenore's experience

Facebook | Joanna Palmer-Fajardo

Other parents shared their fears about taking their autistic children to theme parks and their experiences with meltdowns in the past.

Moments like these are what makes me fall back in love with social media and the sense of community it often has.

Some were even moved to tears

Facebook | Melody Placido Serrano

Dozens of people commented on how touching the story was and how much it made them cry tears of joy.

Myself included because, well, this is just too beautiful for words.

Others commented with their own stories of how Universal went above and beyond for them.

Facebook | Nichole Alexandra

Great work deserves to be recognized, and this heartwarming story is doing just that. Kudos to all the Universal Orlando employees who help each and every guest!

Here's another great story of a Universal Orlando employee coming to the rescue.

Facebook | Randall Fishburn Shank

I'm so glad people are taking the time to share these experiences. It's clear that Universal Orlando employees really take the time to care about every guest who comes through the parks.

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