Familiarity, especially when it comes to routines, rules, and possessions, is a huge comfort to people who live with autism. It helps many across the spectrum cope with their everyday struggles.
As such, when routines change or treasured items are lost, things get stressful. That’s why Deborah Price turned to the internet for help. Her friend, Kate Bell’s daughter is autistic and very attached to one special dress. But as little Elsie gets older, she’s going to outgrow it.
Deborah understands how much the dress means to the little girl, so she took it upon herself to find another before that happens. The only problem? Next Official, the company that makes the dress, doesn’t sell it anymore. So the U.K. woman posted on Twitter, asking if anyone had the dress in Elsie’s size and if they’d be willing to sell it.
“Friend’s autistic daughter only wears this dress,” Deborah wrote. “Don’t judge. Sometimes people can’t cope with certain stuff & it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things does it.”
Deborah was soon overwhelmed by an outpouring of support — not only from people looking to help, but from friends and family of other autistic people as well as those on the spectrum themselves.
One person offered to re-create the dress, while others found two of them on eBay — though neither were the right size. Some chimed in to say they had the same dress in one size bigger than Elsie’s and hoped it might still fit.
Even Next Official jumped into the conversation and offered to reach out to their supplier despite dropping the dress from their line. Both Deborah and Kate were touched by everyone’s willingness to help a little girl.
Then, Deborah hit the jackpot. A day after her initial call for help, another girl named Mila found the dress in her own closet. It was the perfect size. She asked her mom if she could give it away, and after getting permission, shared the news with Deborah. What’s even better is that another woman is sending her daughter’s dress as well! It’s a bigger size, so Elsie can wear it when she gets older. Deborah and Kate couldn’t be more grateful.
“Absolutely bowled over by the kindness of strangers,” Deborah wrote in an updated tweet. “Massive thanks to each and every one of you from me and [Kate] and huge thanks to the two girls who have chosen to send their dresses. You’re amazing and your mums are pretty amazing too for raising such lovely daughters but mostly you’re great because you’ve made a little girl really happy to continue to be in her favourite dress.”
It’s amazing what can be accomplished when we all work together and for each other, isn’t it? Share this story as a reminder of the power of community!
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