This mom shared a heartwarming photo of a custodian comforting her daughter, who has autism

For kids with autism, everyday activities like eating lunch in a busy cafeteria can be overwhelming. When Kenlee, a fourth-grade student at Passmore Elementary School in Alvin, Texas, was having a bad reaction to the noise of the cafeteria, a kind-hearted member of the school’s staff lent her a helping hand.

The school’s custodian, Esther McCool, got down on the floor with Kenlee and held her to bring her some comfort. Kenlee’s mom, Hollie Bellew-Shaw, was rightfully impressed with McCool’s kind gesture. She posted a picture of the moment on Facebook, giving a shoutout to the kind custodian:

“Our school custodian is literally the best, sweetest individual in the world,” Bellew-Shaw wrote. “The Hippy [Kenlee] wanted no part of being in the cafeteria this morning with all the noise so she laid down with her blanket on the stage. When Ms. Esther saw her she came and laid next to her and patted her back.”

How sweet!

Bellew-Shaw also added that she hoped all schools could have caring people like McCool on staff, and she encouraged her friends to share the post “so [McCool] can get all the appreciation & thanks she totally deserves.”

“We saw it and thought, ‘this is so awesome,'” Bellew-Shaw, who works as a special education paraprofessional at the school, told “Good Morning America.” “We have amazing people that work for us and wanted to make that known.”

The Alvin Independent School District also shared the photo on its page, citing the custodian’s actions as proof that “a kind word, a hug, and a little compassion are all it takes to make a huge difference in a child’s life”:

Between the two posts, this sweet photo now has earned more than 3,000 reactions on Facebook and has been shared more than 900 times! Kudos to McCool for going above and beyond to help out a student in need of a friend.

This isn’t the only recent example of someone going above and beyond the call of duty to comfort an autistic child, either. At Disney World about a month ago, Snow White comforted a young boy named Brody who was also having an autistic meltdown. His mother, Lauren Bergner, shared the pictures.

“She held his hand, danced with him, took him over to a bench and sat with him!” Bergner wrote in her Facebook post. “She went above and beyond!! She took so much time with him. She was a pure angel! She was magical and my family is forever thankful and touched!”

In Wichita, Kansas, autistic second-grader Connor Crites was also having problems at school on the first day. After seeing him crying in a corner, Christian Moore grasped his hand to help comfort him and walked with him into the school. Christian’s mom, Courtney Moore, posted how proud she was of her kid.

“It is an honor to raise such a loving, compassionate child!” Moore wrote. “He’s a kid with a Big heart, the first day of school started off right.”

If you’re looking to understand the type of sensory overload that autistic children feel in regular situations, The National Autistic Society of the U.K. released a video in 2016 that simulates that experience.

Unfortunately, autistic children cannot always avoid situations, such as at school, where they may experience sensory overload. However, parents of autistic children often know strategies to calm them down. Others, too — like the people here who helped these kids — can see that these children are not being “naughty,” but need assistance to moderate their reactions to external stimuli.

We love seeing such compassion and kindness!