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Custodian praised as ‘sweetest individual’ for comforting Texas girl with autism

Facebook screengrab from Hollie Bellew-Shaw

Wouldn’t you like someone to console you when things aren’t going your way? Meet Mrs. Esther, custodian at Passmore Elementary in Alvin, Texas.

The school custodian, according to the Alvin Independent School District, comforted a young girl she was quite familiar with -- Kenlee, a fourth-grader with autism.

Per her mother’s Facebook post, “The Hippy” -- as Hollie Bellew-Shaw refers to Kenlee -- “wanted no part of being in the cafeteria this morning with all the noise so she laid down w/her blanket on the stage.”

Enter Mrs. Esther, who sees Kenlee lying down alone and decides to join her.

The photo of Mrs. Esther and Kenlee together has gone viral after being shared by Bellew-Shaw, who said last week that she thought it was important to share to show “the compassion and love Alvin ISD employees show to their students.”

Autism Speaks, an organization “dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support” shared the photo on its Facebook page.

“Kenlee adores Mrs. Esther,” Bellew-Shaw told the district. “She always greets my daughter with kind words and a hug which is so special to her.”

“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,” the district wrote on its Facebook page.

Tyler Carter, a Real-Time reporter based out of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, is an avid lover of media, fitness, sports and telling impactful stories. Previously, he served as a trending/breaking news/crime reporter for AL.com and The Mississippi Press.
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