Incredible way a Coles worker helped a little boy with non-verbal autism after he watched him stack biscuits on shelves – as his dad explains why the touching gesture is so important
- Victorian father Dave Gamble praises Coles team member for kindhearted act
- Dave’s son 8yo son is autistic & approached the employee while he was working
- The worker, stacked shelves with the boy rewarding him with a box of chocolates
A father has thanked a Coles team member for a heartwarming gesture that brightened the day for his autistic son.
Posting his experience on Facebook, Dave Gamble had taken his autistic eight-year-old son, Tim, grocery shopping on Thursday at Cardinia Lakes, on Melbourne’s eastern fringe.
Tim had experienced very little contact with strangers during lockdown, but enthusiastically approached the Coles staff member who was packing biscuits onto shelves.
Seeing Tim’s interest, the employee ‘Shane’ asked the young boy if he would like to help and they began stacking together, and later rewarded him with a box of chocolates for his hard work.
A Victorian father has thanked a Coles team member for his heartwarming gesture to let his 8-year-old son Tim pack shelves with him at a Cardinia Lakes store (pictured)
‘Shout out to this amazing team member from this morning at your Cardinia Lakes store,’ Mr Gamble wrote on Coles’ Facebook page.
‘When my non verbal, autistic son approached him, curious what he was doing with all the biscuits (my son loves biscuits), this guy stopped and showed him and they spent a happy five minutes or so putting the biscuits on the shelf together.
‘And then, 10 minutes later, your team member found us again a few aisles over and gave him a box of chocolates for being such a great helper.
‘For a boy who doesn’t get to get out and socialise much due to all the lockdowns at the moment – and when he does they can be challenging – this was a little interaction and an amazingly generous gesture that made his day.’
The heartwarming post and Shane’s generosity won praise from hundreds online .
‘This is my local store & that guy is really lovely!’ wrote one person.
Tim was delighted when the Coles worker, known as Shane, rewarded him with a box of chocolates for his hard work (pictured)
‘Hats off to this employee and Coles,’ commented another.
‘What a champion. Restores my faith in people,’ added a third.
Mr Gamble told Daily Mail Australia the response the post has received has been ‘pretty amazing’ and ‘overwhelmingly positive’.
‘It’s nice seeing the joy the story is bringing people, and it’s great seeing some of the comments that are recognising Shane and the other team members on being great people,’ Mr Gamble said.
‘They deserve to be recognised for their amazing work to balance out the negativity they cop sometimes and the pressure they’ve been under this last 18 months or so.’
He also added it was good to see there were people out there with an understanding of children on the spectrum – especially at grocery stores which can be a challenging environment for children with autism.
‘It’s really just an understanding that a person’s behaviour may be different and to have patience,’ he said.
‘I’m lucky in that my son wears headphones and that’s almost a flashing light above his head that he is going to behave unexpectedly. But not everyone is like that. Spectrum isn’t even a big enough word to describe people with autism.’
Dave Gamble thanked the staff at the Cardinia Lakes store (pictured) for all their hard work during the state’s sixth lockdown
‘Everyone is different and everyone can be different on different days. understanding and patience is the most important thing you could ask for. Particularly from myself as a parent watching my son engage with people at the store.’
Coles told Daily Mail Australia it was pleased to hear the kindhearted gesture from one of its employees.
‘We are always looking at ways we can meet the differing needs of our customers by creating a shopping environment in which our customers and team members feel comfortable.’
‘We are always delighted to hear stories of our team members creating special shopping moments for our customers and we are grateful the parents have taken the time to acknowledge the positive impact by our Cardinia Lakes team.’
The supermarket giant was one of the first retailers to offer ‘Quiet Hour’, to help shoppers who find it difficult to shop in a heightened sensory environment.
A low-sensory shopping experience is provided to customers by making in store changes, such as reducing noise, lighting and distractions.