Child With Autism Has Meltdown On Plane, But Stranger’s Response Left Passengers In Awe

Rabbi Bentzion Groner along with his wife Rochel were on an eight-hour trip home to North Carolina from Israel when a young boy had a meltdown.

The distraught kid also suffered from autism, probably the reason why he felt uncomfortable on the flight.

As he began crying, a lot of people made faces and a certain murmuring began, but no one really came forward to help.

“His cries were heard throughout the plane and you could feel the tension among the other passengers. No one wanted to say anything but it was getting very uncomfortable,” Rabbi Groner wrote in a Facebook post.


Luckily Rochel knew how to handle him, from her job at ZABS Place, an employment-training centre for young adults with disabilities. She immediately got up, held his hand and helped him.

“I put out my hand, and he took my hand,” she said. “It was such a surreal moment, and he just took it, and he stopped crying. He kind of just followed me into the aisle. I walked to the bulkhead, and I sat down and I put him in my lap, and I gave him a gentle but firm hug and I just started to rock him. He calmed down.”

3 thoughts on “Child With Autism Has Meltdown On Plane, But Stranger’s Response Left Passengers In Awe

  1. Karyl Griffin Reply

    I remember a late flight home through Dallas that had a young, autistic boy who also had Turret’s on board. He was flying with an escort (but not a family member) and she was outmatched by the tired, crabby and non-compassionate flight crew. Well the young man kept getting more and more agitated, and people started murmuring about why she couldn’t get him to be quiet. Finally I offered a) an explanation to those around me (loudly enough to be heard a few rows in every direction…and was pleased to hear the message being passed along. The passengers started to spread the word and calm themselves down.) b) my Walkman (yeah – it was years ago) with some soothing music that helps ME on flights to the boy – which seemed to calm him. At the end of the flight he was handed off to his parents – who really didn’t seem all the grateful to his paid escort, but I made a point to take her aside, give her a hug and thank her for doing such a great job (amplify the future you want to see, right?).

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