A grateful mum’s ‘thank you’ to a caring shop assistant who calmed down her disabled young son who threw a tantrum in a TK Maxx store has become a viral hit.
Tired Seb Playle, aged seven, who has Down’s Syndrome, decided he had enough of traipsing around the shops and sat down at the top of some stairs.
Mum Caroline pretended to leave him while still keeping him in view but Seb – who featured in a Marks and Spencer TV ad – stubbornly refused to budge and follow her.
Assistant Ashley Rogers spotted the stand-off and sat next to the youngster and began chatting to him.
He asked him what was wrong and, after putting a put a smile back on his face, Seb got up to rejoin his mum.
Caroline was so impressed with the kindness and patience he showed that she publicly thanked him on Facebook in a post that has now had over 28,000 likes.
Caroline, 41, said: “I cannot express how much this young man’s actions meant to me. It really did make a huge difference.
“Too often you read about bad experiences but I want new parents of children with Down’s to know that not everybody is horrible.”
She added: “I told Seb I was going to go without him and slowly went down the stairs.
“I hid just out of view where I could just see the top of his hair through the glass staircase.
“It had no effect and Seb continued to sit there.
“Sometimes, shopping with Seb can be tough and I have been reduced to tears by people being rude about him in the past.
“But Ash sat down and talked to Seb, which really brought them onto the same level and it was done with genuine concern – he wasn’t doing it for any sort of recognition.
“What really touched me about what Ash did is that he didn’t really think about it – he just saw a child who was on his own.”
This is not the first time blond-haired Seb has found himself in the spotlight.
When he was four he was chosen by Marks and Spencer in their first advertising campaign to feature a child with Down’s Syndrome.
Mother-of-two Caroline, from Bath, Somerset, added: “He has striking, unusual features, charms the pants off everyone he meets and his little face is full of magic and mischief.
“He also happens to have Down’s Syndrome.
“My heartfelt plight is to get him ‘out there’ and get the message across that
different isn’t any less wonderful – or even that different.”
In a response to Caroline’s thank you Ash wrote: “I honestly had no idea my, what I consider to be, small actions made such a hugely positive impact on both you and your son, Seb.”
TK Maxx thanked Caroline for sharing the story and wished her and Seb all the best for the future.