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Stepping up for Autism: Absolutely McLOVIN it!!

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In the midst of this pandemic something wonderful happened!

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“These three incredibly kind brothers, who also happen to be McDonalds franchisees changed our lives.”

Much Like every other family, the Corona Virus and stay home order haven’t been easy...Our new norm is definitely taking time to get used to.

Most of us can manage to cope and find a way, but for my son Logan, 18 and diagnosed with Severe Autism, this new normal has been anything but manageable.

Logan relies on predictability and visual schedules. Being able to hold a printed schedule in his hand can be the difference between a calm and happy day or a day filled with anxiety triggering melt downs.

Even after spending years in feeding therapy when he was young, Logan still has a VERY limited diet, It’s a sensory issues which limited his ability to tolerate different textures, smells and tastes.

While he’s managed to grow up to be a strong healthy young man towering over me at 6’4”, his diet consists of what I refer to as “beige food”, Eggo Waffles, Pancakes, Garlic Bread to make just a few, but his number one favorite and staple is McDonalds French Fries, Chicken Nuggets and Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Recently, McDonalds has had to limit their menu due to the covid virus and his “go to” chocolate chip cookies were no longer available... not a big deal to most but a huge deal for him.

Desperate,I made a call to the McDonalds Head Office.

I felt embarrassed and slightly dramatic but decided to call and ask when they were anticipating bringing the cookies back? This way, I could explain this to my son by using a picture on his calendar and alleviate the stress of the “unknown”.

She took my name and number, and I honestly thought that would be the end of it!

But that was only the beginning...

A few days later I got a call from a gentleman, that, along with his family are franchisees of a number of McDonalds Restaurants here in Southern California, asking how he could help!

*a little back story: I have a blog where I share thought and stories about my life with my son as well as a consulting company training companies on how to be more accommodating to the Autism Community.(more specifically, the teen and adult population - which frequently get over looked)

During the call it was clear that he had a vested interest in special needs accessibility and wanted to do what ever he could to make a difference.

He told me that he would contact the bakery and find a way to get Logan his cookies!

We spoke at length and shared ideas on how implementing even small changes could impact the Autism Community, their families, his customers as well as his employees. (Some of which also have special needs)

A few days later he and his brothers personally delivered the cookies to my son so that we could bake them here at home...my oven had just broke, but I had bought a toaster oven for the meantime...

As an advocate for Autism and the Mother of two young men on the spectrum, it warmed my heart at the the incredible generosity these men showed and how eager they are to implement new strategies to make their restaurants more inclusive!

I had to share this story!

For parents of newly diagnosed children, just know that the word IS changing for the better...business owners like these young men are doing all they can to make the world a more welcoming place and other restaurants and businesses will Soon follow suit, going even further to be truly “Autism Friendly”



Francine and Logan

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