Teen Praised for Going ‘Above and Beyond’ to Help Little Girl With Autism Experiencing Sensory Overload

Many people think that teenagers are lazy and careless and mostly self-centered. If it comes to helping others teens aren’t so quick to be the heroes, but one teen named Jacob did something that was not to be taken for granted. When he saw a young girl and her mother in trouble and in need of help at his workplace he decided he would be the one who would offer help when other people just stood by unable to do anything.

It was just another day at work for the teen who worked at a shoe store. A woman came in with her young daughter and things immediately seemed off. The girl wasn’t calm and her frazzled mother felt uncomfortable and helpless, not knowing what to do. There was a scene starting to happen, people were looking and someone needed to step in and help out before things got even more out of hand. Jacob took it upon himself to help them and his kind and genuine actions got everybody talking making him a viral sensation.

Sensory overload

There was nothing particularly special about that day in March when Jacob came to a little girl’s aid. It was just another Saturday on the job for the teenager. The shop was as busy as ever, and he walked from one customer to another, providing his help. Some weren’t interested in his assistance while others gladly took him up on his offers.

Sensory overload

One person who did the latter was Dawn Brown, a mom who was at the store with her daughter, Lois. The pair were looking for shoes that the little girl could wear when they encountered a problem. There was a lot of people in Clarks at that time, and all the noise became overwhelming for Lois. She ended up having sensory overload,  and it wasn’t until something special happened that she was able to calm down. 

Coming to the rescue

Jacob a young sales associate was asked to help measure the girl’s feet when the overload happened. 

 

Coming to the rescue

He could see that Lois was distressed as soon as he got to the pair, and he asked Dawn if they needed any assistance. The mother said yes, aware that people were probably staring at them. Jacob wasn’t bothered by that, though.

Approaching With Kindess

He had a duty to help every customer, and it didn’t matter if the child was crying – he was there to reassure her.

Approaching With Kindess

The teenager was no stranger to people with autism, so he knew how to help Lois get through her sensory overload. He was extremely gentle with the girl, not wishing to distress her further as he measured her feet. Luckily, his soft touch worked wonders on the autistic child.

All the time in the world

Helping Lois find the perfect pair of shoes was no quick task. Thankfully, Jacob didn’t care how long it took to get what she was after.

All the time in the world

He never once gave the impression that the mother and daughter were taking up too much of his time. Instead, he just spent the whole time sitting with Lois and trying on new shoes whenever she felt ready.

 

The Right Words

As the teen put them on her, he assured that while they might feel weird now, that wouldn’t always be the case. His kind words went a long way to easing the girl’s mind and helping her out the other side of her sensory overload.

Dedicated to the job

It’s unclear how long Jacob spent with the pair, but he never once abandoned them. Even when Lois was crying and had to be rocked by her mother, the teen still stayed put.

Full of gratitude

It was hard for Dawn to put into words how grateful she was for Jacob’s assistance that day. As the mother of an autistic child, she’s well aware that not everyone knows what to do when her daughter goes through something like this. 

Full of gratitude

The teenager’s thoughtful approach and endless patience was a breath of fresh air, though, and that brought a big smile to the woman’s face. This was going above and beyond for someone he didn’t even know. That is not to be taken for granted.

She Had To Do Something

She only wished that Jacob worked in every store they went to, so they always had someone to look out for them. Feeling over the moon after the experience she and Lois had had in Clarks, Dawn felt compelled to do something to show her gratitude to Jacob.

She Had To Do Something

However, what was the appropriate way to say thank you to someone she’d only just met? How could she pay Jacob back for the beautiful gesture he did? She came up with a way to get him the recognition he deserved.

Repaying the favor

Dawn ended up writing an email to Clarks, letting them know exactly what the teen had done while she and Lois were shopping. She shared all the details of their experience, from Jacob’s polite introduction to his calm and patient responses to everything.

Repaying the favor

Dawn gushed about the teenager and hoped that her email would make its way to him in some form. Little did she know that Clarks had planned to do something special to honor Jacob. They couldn’t let his hard work and dedication to Lois go unrewarded.

Celebrating his achievement

Several months after Dawn’s shopping trip, Jacob was presented with a celebration alert from his store. The company understood what a big deal this was. Yeah a small gesture but one that had a bigger impact than another sale of shoes. 

Celebrating his achievement

It revealed that someone had informed Clarks of his outstanding customer service, then launched into the details of what had happened that day. It is so nice to see a company like this acknowledge an employee’s humble gesture.

Father Taught Him Well

Every word that Dawn had written was there to see, and it brought a sense of pride to his loved ones. Everyone needed to know what Jacob had done. He should make his family very proud. They raised him to be a kind young man.

Father Taught Him Well

Jacob’s father, James, was particularly proud of what he’d done, and he admitted that it made him emotional. He couldn’t believe the kind of man his boy was growing into.

Sharing it with the world

James revealed his pride over Jacob’s actions when he took to Twitter the following day. The father posted a photo of the celebration alert the boy had received, along with a caption admitting he was “a little choked up.”

Sharing it with the world

He pinned the tweet, so it was the first thing anyone saw when they visited his profile. The dad couldn’t have been happier about what had happened, and he just hoped others would follow in his son’s footsteps. Little did he know how far a reach his tweet would have.

A popular post

It didn’t take long for James’ post to go viral. Thousands of people were impressed by the teen’s actions and responded positively to the tweet. At the time of writing, it had racked up 110,000 likes, 12,000 retweets, and 1,500 comments.

A popular post

For someone who only had roughly 760 followers, that kind of reception was beyond anything that James ever expected. However, he was thrilled that so many people were celebrating what his son had done. He believed Jacob deserved all the praise in the world.

It starts with the parents

The comments on James’ tweet were overwhelming, with most people not only praising Jacob but also his parents. They believed that the teen wouldn’t have grown into such a respectable young man if it wasn’t for the work his mom and dad put into raising him.

It starts with the parents

Although James didn’t want to take all the credit for his son’s actions, he appreciated the kind words that people were heaping on him and his wife. They took great pride in being parents, and things like this made all their sacrifices worthwhile.

Bringing things full circle

Of all the people who responded to James’ tweet, there was one person whose comment he appreciated more than everyone else’s. Amazingly, Dawn had found his post, and she wrote how happy she was that Jacob was getting so much recognition.

Bringing things full circle

She told James to be proud of the son he’d raised, and she admitted that his son deserved everything he got. Naturally, the father was over the moon to hear from the woman who’d put Jacob in the spotlight. So, he wrote back saying she’d made their family incredibly happy.

Giving back to the world

Dawn didn’t need any thanks; she was just glad to shine a light on Jacob’s kindness. She admitted that too many teenagers are given bad press, even though plenty of them bring some good into the world. The mother hadn’t come across many adults who knew how to help Lois quite like Jacob did.

Giving back to the world

She also confessed that she tries to spread positivity when she can because people find it so easy to be hateful these days. Other commenters agreed, stating it takes more effort to be kind than cruel.

Over the moon

Given Jacob doesn’t appear to have much of a social media presence, it’s hard to judge how the teen felt about everything that happened. However, his father assured that the boy was walking on air after he received his celebration alert.

Over the moon

He did everything he could to help Lois that day, so knowing his assistance was appreciated really touched Jacob’s heart. It made everything worthwhile and simply inspired the teenager to keep up the good work. He wanted to feel this sense of achievement all the time.

It affects millions

Given that around one in 59 US children has autism, it’s vital that people know how to help those diagnosed with it. It’s such a complex disorder, with some people more deeply affected by it than others.

It affects millions

There are those with autism who need very little help on a day-to-day basis, just as there are those who can’t get by without someone by their side. It’s different for everyone, which is why more education is needed on how to assist those with the disorder.

Educating the masses

Symptoms of autism can include things like communication issues and a difficulty to understand people’s thoughts or feelings. Those with the disorder can also struggle in unfamiliar situations and get overwhelmed by bright lights and loud noises.

Educating the masses

That’s what happened to Lois, who experienced a sensory overload when she was out shopping for shoes. Luckily, Jacob knew how to assist her, but not many other people in his position would have done. That’s why education is essential, so his level of customer service can be provided on a regular basis.

A stroke of luck

Although Jacob is trained to assist those with autism and other disorders, that wasn’t actually the reason he was sent over to help Lois that day. The teenager wasn’t even aware that the girl had autism until he interacted with her.

A stroke of luck

However, it’s fortunate that he was assigned to the mother and daughter pair because he clearly knew how to handle the situation. One of his coworkers may have struggled to offer the same level of service and care as Jacob, simply because they didn’t have the same know-how.

Not a big deal

One of the things that really made Jacob stand out to Dawn was the fact that he never made a big deal about Lois’ autism. Even though it was clear that the girl was overwhelmed and struggling, he didn’t act like it was anything abnormal.

Not a big deal

He just stayed with the pair and waited patiently for Lois to relax before continuing to help her. Dawn appreciated that the teen didn’t treat her daughter like a second class citizen because she was different – he gave her the respect she deserved.

Helping when he can

It’s perhaps not a massive surprise that the boy did such a great job with the young girl given he’s worked with the children’s charity Barnardos since he was 16. While most teenagers would use their breaks from school to chill out and do virtually nothing, Jacob always dedicates his time to those less fortunate.

Helping when he can

His last few spring breaks and summer vacations have been spent offering his assistance and learning how he can better help those who need it. This is one teenager whose generosity knows no bounds.

Going above and beyond

During his time with Barnardos, Jacob has learned a lot about autism and how to be there for someone who has it. He’s also trained himself to communicate with people who aren’t able to speak, mastering things like the Makaton language.

Going above and beyond

Some autistic people never learn to talk, so having these abilities in his arsenal means no-one will ever feel excluded around him. It’s incredible the lengths Jacob has gone to for the sake of others, and it’s a reminder that there are still plenty of good people in the world.

No time to rest

After the teenager’s celebration alert went viral, it was revealed that Jacob had plans to spend his summer helping people abroad. His intentions were apparently to go away for a few months and offer his assistance before beginning the next chapter in his life.

No time to rest

He turned 18 this year, which means his summer vacation marks the end of his time in education. While many of his peers will likely be heading to college in a couple of months, Jacob plans on doing something a little bit different with his time.

Plans for the future

It seems that the teenager has his sights set on becoming a firefighter. He’s apparently hoping to get an apprenticeship after his summer abroad which will allow him to train with the emergency services. Being a firefighter would certainly fit with Jacob’s penchant for helping people.

Plans for the future

It might be a little different to what he’s used to, but there’s no doubt that putting out fires and rescuing people from the flames would definitely be doing good in the world. He could really be considered a hero then.

Weighing up his options

Although Jacob has ambitions to become a firefighter, it’s possible that he might wait a year before starting his apprenticeship. That’s because he’s considering taking a gap year and using that time to work with autistic children.

Weighing up his options

The teenager is thinking about offering his services to a school and seeing whether he might have a career in education. Given everything he’s learned about autism, Jacob would certainly have the skills to assist these children. However, the boy has yet made up his mind about what to do come September.

Changing the world

The popularity of Jacob’s actions has apparently had a far-reaching impact on the retail industry. After his post went viral, James revealed that they’d had conversations with people about providing appropriate training to all retail workers.

Changing the world

His family believes that staff should be more familiar with autism so they can appropriately interact with anyone who has it. That way, everyone will feel more comfortable when they go shopping, even if they end up having a sensory overload as Lois did. After all, isn’t the customer supposed to come first?

Representing the company

In light of his actions, Clarks were incredibly proud of Jacob. They voiced their support of the teenager, both on Twitter and in an official statement. They admitted that seeing people praise the boy’s approach to his job was great to see, especially because they value the level of customer service they provide.

Representing the company

It’s apparently the company’s aim to create a comfortable shopping environment for everyone, including those who fall on the autism spectrum. In their eyes, no-one should ever feel pushed out simply for being different.

Making a difference

For a while now, Clarks have implemented quiet hours in their stores to benefit those who have autism. They understand that people like Lois get overwhelmed when there’s too much noise, so they do what they can to cater to them.

Making a difference

Apparently, the plan this year is to implement a daily quiet hour in most of their stores. That way, there will always be a safe time for autistic people to visit. While it won’t be a perfect solution, it’s definitely a big step in the right direction.

No expectations

When Jacob left work on that Saturday, he never expected to become such a viral sensation. While he’d gone above and beyond to help Lois, he’d merely been doing his job. There hadn’t been any expectation of a reward, because helping an autistic girl find the shoes she wanted was reward enough.

No expectations

That’s precisely why Jacob deserved all the praise he got, though. He did what so many people wouldn’t and went out of their way to help someone, no matter how uncomfortable or difficult it might have been.

Breaking stereotypes

Stereotypes can be bad because they put people in a box. Jacob the hero of the story was not one to be put in the classic teen stereotype box. The perception that a lot of people have of teenagers is that they only care about themselves. Supposedly, all they’re interested in is playing video games, going to parties, and just generally being lazy.

Breaking stereotypes

However, the actions of Jacob prove that this stereotype is far from the truth. While there might be a lot of adolescents out there who behave this way, there are plenty who have hearts as big as this boy’s. It’s worth remembering that.