News Articles

A Parent’s Letter: Astor Services Staffer Aids Autistic Child While Grocery Shopping

“I hope this message will reach whoever should hear this great work/ kindness one of your employees had shown.”

My family and I were in Hannaford’s supermarket over the weekend and my daughter which is 7 has several issues two are sensory and Autism. Your employee saw my husband and I struggling as my daughter was having a rough time. Not going to lie I was about to throw in the towel and leave my cart with all our food.

[She] had walked over. I did see her hesitation because I'm sure she didn't want to overstep boundaries. [She] had asked if it was okay to talk to her, of course I didn't think anything of it and said yes because we were so frustrated. [Your staffer] got on her level because my daughter had thrown herself on floor not wanting to wear mask and a Hannaford’s employee had told me she had to put it on.

[She] had a very low voice so my daughter had stopped screaming to hear what she was saying. She asked how she was feeling and explained how to show that feeling in an appropriate way. She then helped my daughter up and proceeded to explain why we wear the mask. I can't even begin to explain how much she helped she took the time and really helped my daughter.

This pandemic has burnt me out as a mother with an autistic child as it put us is such a tough spot. When asking [your staffer] about her work she said she was an assistant at Astor in the special needs room. She also explained all the trainings that have taught her about different ways to approach different obstacles with children.

Overall I wanted to reach out and say thank you for helping the community and teaching your employees skills that help all around. I hope this finds its way to her supervisor.

Much love,

(Names were omitted for the purpose of reprinting this letter)


Astor Services for Children & Families, an agency of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York since 1946, is a community-based non-profit organization that provides children’s mental health services, child welfare services, and early childhood development services.  Astor serves children and families in New York State’s Mid-Hudson Valley region and the Bronx. 

Astor shares with Catholic Charities their belief that “all children deserve the opportunity to develop social skills, gain confidence and develop lasting values that will serve them as adults.” Through a network of specialized services like those delivered by Astor, Catholic Charities “cares compassionately for the most vulnerable New Yorkers — non-Catholics and Catholics alike.” Astor Services is committed to supporting families to ensure each child has a healthy and happy childhood.