Boy's Meltdown Makes Passengers Uncomfortable, Suddenly Woman Takes Matters Into Her Own Hands
FaithTap Staff 7/26/2017
Plane rides are difficult for adults, let alone children, who are forced to be confined in a small space without the freedom to be themselves. Nonetheless, as more and more parents choose to travel with their kids, seeing them as fellow passengers is not a new thing, even on long international flights.
A couple was on their way back from Israel when they found themselves at the right place at the right time. Rabbi Bentzion Groner and his wife Rochel were on the 8-hour long flight when they realized that one of the passengers onboard was an autistic boy.
For 15 minutes they heard the boy have a meltdown that no one, including his parents, could control. Even though other passengers were trying to be polite by not saying anything, the situation was definitely getting a bit out of hand.
This is when Rabbi Groner and Rochel decided to take matters into their own hands.
Rochel walked over to where the boy was sitting and simply extended her arm with a smile. She didn't know how the young boy would react, but turns out he took it without complaining.
Then Rochel led him out of his seat and into the back of the plane where they could sit down on the floor together. The boy was already calm by now and Rochel proceeded to hold him in her lap and rock him and play with him to further sooth him.
According to Rabbi Groner, Rochel was with the autistic boy for almost two hours and the entire time he stayed comforted and quiet.
While the cause of his meltdown is not exactly known, the Groners did share that their flight had been delayed by 3-hours, enough to make even the most calmest of them all a bit tired and grumpy.
So even though the boy had perfectly good reason for acting the way he did, according to the Rabbi:
"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."
Thanks to Rochel however, who didn't consider it someone else's problem and instead decided to help the situation in the best way possible.
Apparently the love and patience that the couple showed is nothing new. Among other charitable missions, they run a thrift store in Charlotte, North Carolina, supporting ZABS Place which provides training and support to young adults with special needs. There couldn't have been a more suitable couple to help out the boy.
All passengers were relieved for sure when the meltdown stopped, but needless to say they were more mesmerized by how Rochel controlled the situation. Rabbi Groner wrote on Facebook:
"... we're taught that if we just offer our hand in love and acceptance, miracles will follow."
In this day and age, the line between helping someone and meddling in other people's business is a fine one. But many thanks to Rochel for recognizing when to tell the difference. Surely the passengers were happy, but for one autistic boy it meant so much more.
Sources: Facebook/Bentzion Groner FB Image Credit Facebook/Bentzion Groner