Apple employee comforts mom and autistic son after unexpected event at store
LynnMarie Rink knows just how delicate situations and places can be for her son. Since her son James was born, the Tennessee mother has had to learn what life looks like for a child with Down Syndrome and autism. According to News Channel 5, James was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at birth and then with autism at 6 years old.
Despite the daily challenges that James and his family face, they've learned to be thankful for the kind gestures of others, specifically those of an Apple employee named Andrew.
On January 21, Rink took James to the Green Hills Apple store to purchase a new iPad. In a Facebook post, Rink explains that using an iPad has helped James communicate better, but the years of use caused their original iPad to break. Thanks to the generosity of The Fiona Rose Murphey Foundation, Rink was able to buy a brand new iPad. However, the process did not go as smoothly as Rink initially hoped.
In her Facebook post, Rink describes a moment at the Apple store when James saw something outside and went to run after it. Instead of running out the door, James slammed into the glass wall of the store, the sound startling all of the customers. As Rink rushed to his side amidst stares and awkward silences, she noticed that she was not alone. An Apple employee who she later learned was named Andrew walked over to her and James offering help in whatever way they needed.
Rink asked if Andrew would be willing to set their new iPad up while sitting on the floor with them, and he agreed.
"There are no words to accurately describe how grateful I am that he took the time to 'meet us right where we were,'" Rink wrote on Facebook.
Rink later documented the event on social media along with a photo of Andrew and her son at the Apple store. Rink was so moved by Andrew's kindness that she wrote a huge "thank-you" to him, hoping that her post would be shared enough to reach him as she'd forgotten his name at the time. Rink also included the Ellen-Degeneres-inspired hashtag #BeKindToOneAnother.
Due to the high volume of shares of Rink's post, the message was able to get to Andrew who later private messaged Rink thanking her for being so kind and telling her that he hopes to work as a youth counselor some day, as described by Channel 5 News.
The following news report covers the full story featuring Rink and her son.