Mum Praises ‘Hero’ Stranger For Lying On Pavement With Her Autistic Son

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 15 Apr 2021 08:25
Mum Praises 'Hero' Stranger For Lying On Pavement With Her Autistic Sonbettertobedifferent/Facebook

A mum has described a stranger as a ‘hero’ for lying on the pavement with her autistic son while he was having a meltdown.

Natalie Fernando, 44, from Essex, UK, was out walking with her five-year-old son Rudy when he began to have a meltdown after being told they had to turn around to head back home.


Rudy then lay down on the floor in protest and was making loud noises, something Natalie said people were staring and ‘tutting at’ before a stranger – who she later found out to be named Ian – came over and asked if she was OK.

Better To Be Different/FacebookBetter To Be Different/Facebook

Ian then proceeded to lie down on the pavement with Rudy and was chatting to the young boy before eventually walking him and his mum back to the car.

Natalie was so touched about it all that she posted about it on Facebook page Better To Be Different which is dedicated to sharing stories about what it’s like having a child with autism.


Part of the post shared on Monday, April 12, read:

This man, a total stranger saved me today from either a meltdown lasting up to an hour or more or the alternative which is usually a bit of a beating from my boy who totally loses himself when he has a meltdown and can become very aggressive. This man, a total stranger took time out of his day to just chat and ask if I was ok.

This man, a total stranger was my hero this morning and after laying with Roo then walked Rudy and I all the way back to our car. I wish there were more of this man around and I am beyond thankful.

It continued, ‘This man, my hero this morning saw my son on the floor and like any other person would assume that he was having a tantrum, he asked my little Roo what his name was and when I explained he didn’t really understand and that he is autistic and has a host of other challenges making this part of the walk difficult he said, that’s cool I’ll lay down with him.’

Better To Be Different/FacebookBetter To Be Different/Facebook

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‘He then proceeded to chat with us whilst walking back to the car. I am so thankful to this chap Ian, I will not forget his kindness.’

Natalie’s candid post has since gone on to be liked over 76,000 times and has received thousands of comments applauding Ian for his kindness.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Life, Autism, child, Essex, kindness, Now, UK


Daily Mail
  1. Daily Mail

    Mother praises 'hero' stranger for lying on the pavement with her autistic son to stop him having a meltdown