Adrian Wood, from the US, who blogs at Tales of an Educated Debutante explained that she and her son Amos, three, had been on their third day of potty training camp.
“I could tell the therapists were wondering if Amos was going to catch on,” Wood wrote on Facebook on 22 June.
“He has been dry each night and he goes on the potty and is excited, but the click hasn’t happened.”
During a break from potty training camp, Wood took herself and her son out to pick up lunch.
“I placed Amos in a chair with his blanket but before I could get our order completed, he had scampered off and then I heard the young woman at the counter ask if I had spilled a drink,” she wrote.
“It took me a few seconds and as my eyes darted to Amos’ drenched bottom, I had no way out other than to disclose the truth.”
Wood said she was on the verge of tears when she’d realised what he’d done, and explained she was potty training him and he had autism.
But she needn’t have worried, because the staff member at the restaurant was understanding of her situation.
“She paused and smiled and said she understood,” Wood explained. “She said that she had a two-year-old, and that he would get it, it may just take a little extra time.
“She gathered up paper towels and when I went to take them from her, she refused. ‘I’m happy to do it,’ she said and she did, wiping down the chair and floor and then finding a plastic bag for his dripping blanket that was caught in the crossfire.”
Wood said after she’d cleaned up, the staff member came over to speak to Amos and engaged him in conversation.
“You see, it was such a gift, that gesture,” Wood added.
“It was more than the simple acceptance of a puddle of urine in a sandwich shop. There was no judgement behind the observation, no raised eyebrow, no silent stare, only kindness.”
Wood’s post has had more than 3,000 likes. Many parents sent her words of encouragement about her son’s potty training.
“Hang in there, mumma, you’ve got this,” one person wrote. “I’ve taught preschool for years, no two kiddos are ever the same, but the trend is that ‘typically developing’ boys don’t even usually start wanting to potty train until three years old.”
Another wrote: “Toileting is a developmental skill. All autism is a developmental delay. It takes time. Bless the woman who was so kind. We have been there many times.”