Grocery store employee praised for reaching out to teen with autism
BATON ROUGE, La. — A grocery store employee is being lauded for reaching out to a teen with autism and asking him to help stock shelves in a fridge.
Sid Edwards and his son Jack Ryan Edwards, 17, visited their local Rouses Market in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Sunday. Jack Ryan, who is on the autism spectrum, took notice of what one of the employees was working on: stocking shelves in a fridge.
Edwards said Jack Ryan was mesmerized by what the store employee was doing. At first, Edwards thought his son wanted orange juice.
But after getting the juice, Jack Ryan stood still watching the employee work.
That’s when the employee, identified by CNN affiliate WAFB as 20-year-old Jordan Taylor, approached Jack Ryan.
“Something in the back of my mind was just like, ‘ask if he wants to help you,'” Taylor told WAFB.
Jack Ryan and Taylor teamed up to stock the shelves together for half an hour, with Taylor handing Jack Ryan the products and Jack Ryan diligently putting them in the fridge.
“It was a big deal,” Edwards said of seeing his son being able to help with the task.
“To me, when you go to a grocery store with an autistic kid, especially when they’re young, people don’t understand, they’re not very accepting.”
“Somehow this young man reached my son … he went into Jack Ryan’s world.”
Edwards sent the video to his family. His daughter, Delaney Edwards Alwosaibi, posted it on Facebook on Monday. Since then, the video has gained nearly 10,000 likes and more than 1,000 comments praising Taylor for the act of kindness.
“He could have ignored him,” Edwards Alwosaibi wrote on Facebook. “He could have made an excuse and said he couldn’t allow him to help. Instead, he let him have his moment and in turn gave my family a moment we will never forget.”
“I was just happy that I could make someone else happy and make their day,” Jordan told WAFB.