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Stranger pays bill for mother of boy with autism

Published: Tuesday, January 26, 2016 @ 9:56 PM
Updated: Tuesday, January 26, 2016 @ 9:56 PM

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A Bainbridge Island, Washington, mother is grateful for the kindness of a stranger.

Lauren Nordberg took her 6-year-old son with autism, Elliot, out for pancakes as a reward for his good behavior at the dentist.

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The pair went to their favorite diner Jan. 18.

But they were unable to sit at their regular table because it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the restaurant was busier than usual.

"On top of all the chaos, I forgot to bring his 'calm down tools,' headphones, games, iPad," Nordberg told "Once we got seated in the wrong spot, it was just a recipe for escalation."

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"After several minutes of stares, I took him outside until our food came so he could have his moments without me getting all the stares," Nordberg wrote in a Facebook post.

Once Elliot was calm, he and Nordberg came back inside and ate their food. "He was fine once we went back inside and the food came, but after he ate, he freaked out again," she said.

But when Nordberg asked for the bill, she got an encouraging note instead. The note read, "Have a great day. You are doing a wonderful job. God bless, from a mother who knows."

Restaurant owner Cyndi Moody also told Nordberg the meal was taken care of, and that's when Nordberg and Moody began to cry tears of happiness.

"I'm used to getting stared down," Nordberg said. "(I'm) not used to getting my lunch paid for and having someone write a note to demonstrate compassion. He has autism, so no matter what I do, it's not going to change him."

"There is good in the world, and this mama is thankful for the kindness of strangers," Nordberg said.

Our Day Part 2: Lunch DateI should have known better than to take him out for lunch after a dentist appointment, but he...

Posted by Lauren Copp Nordberg on Monday, January 18, 2016