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Mother Praises Universal Orlando Employees for Going Above and Beyond for Her 10-Year-Old Nonverbal, Autistic Son


The mother of a 10-year-old boy who is nonverbal and autistic has praised Universal Orlando employees with saving the day when her son was allowed to bring his sensory ball into Universal Studios Florida – to be confirmed.

Leigh Merryday Porch, of Florida, took to Facebook on the 5th October, 2019, to praise the resort whilst sharing a great story about how a couple of employees went above and beyond to ensure that her 10-year-old son, Callum had the best day at the park…

…With that being said, read the mother’s story, which has been shared over 2,000 times on the social media platform, in full below:

“Dear Universal Orlando Resort: I’m kicking myself for not catching your employees’ names at the security checkpoint this morning. But I want you to know they nearly made me cry.

Our 10-year-old son Callum is autistic and nonverbal. His orange ball goes everywhere with him and is a source of comfort for him as his favourite “stim”. He even clutches that ball to himself at night when he sleeps.

This morning, it didn’t occur to us that it might not be allowed. We had known we’d need to store it in lockers during certain rides, but otherwise intended to let him hold it throughout the day.

Just as we approached the security checkpoint, a male employee spotted it and made eye contact with a female employee, who started to tell us we couldn’t bring it in.

But she didn’t get two words out of her mouth before taking a good look at Callum, pausing, and telling us to come on through. She then looked back at her coworker and said, “It’s fine. Let them on through. It’s medical”.

He glanced at Callum, nodded his head in immediate understanding, and we were in. It happened so fast Mr. Flappiness and our daughter didn’t even notice.

I thanked them both profusely before heading to the main gate. Whereupon the man taking tickets and fingertip scans just as quickly noticed me trying to get Callum to put his index finger down and immediately waived him through with just a “he’s fine, we’ll take yours”.

Then we headed right to the guest services area for the Attraction Assistance Pass, which was quickly and politely issued by another helpful and knowledgable employee who referred to Callum as Universal’s new “friend”.

The training you have clearly invested in your staff shows. I come from a family who has been touched by severe autism for nearly 30 years.

I remember when the world wasn’t this welcoming. It still isn’t this way many places we go. But you’re doing this right. And I just wanted you to know it.”

The autism awareness at Universal Orlando Resort is strong!

Back in June, a photo went viral of Universal Orlando employee who laid next to a 9-year-old autistic boy and soothed him when he had a meltdown… Find out more about that particular story here.  

Source: Leigh Merryday Porch’s Facebook page account – see below.

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