Everyday Heroes

Photo of Custodian Comforting Student with Autism Goes Viral

When she noticed the child was having a hard time, she didn't hesitate to act.


With the start of the school year comes a lot of excitement. For some students, it can be a little too much.

That's what happened at an elementary school in Alvin, Texas. Kenlee Bellew-Shaw, a fourth grader at the school, is autistic and when the commotion in the school cafeteria became too much for her, she laid down on a nearby stage and covered herself with a blanket.

Noticing the child was having trouble, the school's custodian, known to the students as Ms. Esther, laid down next to the girl and comforted her.

Another employee snapped a photo of the moment and showed it to the girl's mother, Hollie, who works as a special education paraprofessional at the school.

Both Hollie and the Alvin Independent School District posted the photo to Facebook. They wanted to share the touching act of kindness and make sure that Ms. Esther got the recognition she deserved.

Alvin Independent School District Facebook

"We saw it and thought, 'this is so awesome.' We have amazing people that work for us and we wanted to make that known," Hollie explained.

The Facebook posts sparked a number of beautiful comments, and Hollie acknowledged the impact of her daughter's bond with Mr. Esther .

(Source: Hollie Bellew-Shaw Facebook )

"Kenlee adores Mrs. Esther," Hollie shared in her original post. "She always greets my daughter with kind words and a hug which is so special to her."

Others chimed in, sharing their own stories about the kindness the custodian has shown their children, and also to recognize the ripple effect that such acts has on the students.

"A little kindness teaches children that the world isn't always scary," Nancy Perkins commented. "God Bless this sweet lady. The school is probably a good place or she wouldn't feel she could do this. Congratulations to the whole school especially the administration!

Fellow educators shared their appreciation for Ms. Esther's quick action to show Kenlee that someone cared about her.

"As a Special Education teacher it's important to me for our students with different abilities to be seen..... this custodian SEES her," Laura Berkeihiser wrote. "Beautiful share... way to go Ms. Esther!

The posts have been shared over 600 times, and, as the Alvin Independent School District noted, "This goes to show you that a kind word, a hug, and a little compassion are all it takes to make a huge difference in a child's life."

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