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Stranger pays tab, leaves note for mother of boy with autism

Stranger pays tab, leaves note for mother of boy with autism

(Lauren Copp Nordberg/Facebook)

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BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. — A kind stranger helped buoy up the mother of a boy with autism after he broke down in the middle of a restaurant.

Lauren Nordberg was eating at a Bainbridge Island diner with her 6-year-old son, Elliot, when he started to get anxious. Elliot, who is autistic, has a difficult time when there's a break in his routine, Nordberg told KOMO News.

The pair had just come from the dentist and wasn't able to get their regular table, and the noise and chaos of the busy diner was just too much for the little boy.

"He just spiraled into a complete autistic meltdown, yelling and screaming. It's a temper tantrum on a whole other level," Nordberg said. "I started to get looks, as we often do when we have a meltdown."

Nordberg took Elliot outside to help calm him down. When they went back inside, instead of the annoyed stares she'd expected, she found something that completely took her by surprise.

When she asked diner owner, Cyndi Moody, for her bill, Moody handed her a note instead.

It read, "Have a great day. You're doing a wonderful job. God bless. From a mother who knows."

Moody informed Nordberg that another patron had paid for her meal and asked Moody to pass the note along.

"I started crying, the owner started crying, we start hugging," Nordberg told KOMO. "Elliot was like, 'Hey mom, let's go.'"

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

Moody herself was moved by the kindness of a person who didn't know Nordgren's situation, but had the compassion to reach out in a difficult situation.

"It was just a sweet moment," Moody said. "She didn't know her… she just really felt for Lauren and thought she was doing a really good job and wanted to pay it forward a little bit."

Nordberg was so moved by the stranger's act of kindness that she posted a picture of the note on her Facebook account. It seems many others are touched by the story as well — the post has since gone viral.

"I'm keeping it in my wallet because I think it's important to always have a reminder of those moments," she said. "A kid who is having a hard time may be having a hard time, not giving a hard time."

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