Dublin: 5 °C Friday 21 January, 2022

A Maynooth waiter's kind gesture to this child with autism and his assistance dog is just lovely

Completely heartwarming.

MEET CASSIE, AN assistance dog and friend to Darach, a child who lives with Fragile X Syndrome and autism.

13151895_950392481745228_5843210862270060487_n Source: Facebook/Assistance Dog Cassie

Darach’s mam set up a Facebook page to share with people the difference Cassie has made to her son’s life in the two years they’ve had her, and regularly posts stories of their adventures together.

This particular tale of a kind waiter’s excellent treatment of Darach and Cassie has completely charmed people on Facebook.

13151863_946236918827451_8395111541193330180_n Source: Facebook/Assistance Dog Cassie

After taking Darach to see a play and visit family in Dublin, they stopped in Bistro 53 in Maynooth for dinner on the way home. It looked like things weren’t to go smoothly:

Darach always has an orange juice when we eat out, it’s just part of the deal and it arrived swiftly. All good so far. But as we were ordering our food Cassie stretched under the table, knocked it a little, and the whole glass of juice tipped into Darach’s lap!
He lost it immediately, straight into meltdown, hitting his head and crying… Thankfully he calmed down quickly and the waiter produced a replacement juice with a strawberry perched on the edge like a cocktail to jazz it up.

Darach’s mother was left on edge after his meltdown, and ate quickly “with an eye on the clock and his mood”. To her surprise, when she asked for the bill, the waiter replied that he was going to pay for their entire meal.

13178617_951652304952579_9196405698126643508_n Source: Facebook/Assistance Dog Cassie

“I was sure I was hearing him wrong! But his colleague too insisted the delicious meal was on them. Steaks, crab claws, salad! They were so kind,” she wrote.

“We left what cash we had so at least they wouldn’t be out of pocket for the ingredients of our meal.”

The gesture meant a lot to us but the biggest deal was when he looked me in the eyes and said, “I want you to know you can always come here to our restaurant. Come back any time and you will always be welcome.”

“His kind words brought tears to my eyes,” she wrote.

Navigating the world with someone with special needs can make you excruciatingly self-conscious of others’ reactions and judgements but they made sure we knew it was OK to be in a nice restaurant even when we’re a bit ragged, need to bring an assistance dog, with a risk of inappropriate behaviours and public meltdown.

The heartwarming story has been shared thousands of times on Facebook – read the full account and see more about Cassie and Darach here.

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