Two-year-old Jackson Coley, an autistic boy from North Carolina, fell in love with Snow White during his family’s trip to Walt Disney World in November. Jackson’s mom, Amanda, captured the tender moments on video, admitting that she cried “1,000 times” while watching her son interact with the Disney princess — the only cast member in the park who he actually liked.
But this was more than just a crush.
Jackson was diagnosed with nonverbal autism two weeks after his trip to the “Happiest Place on Earth.” According to Today, the child sat next to the stunning princess as she cuddled him. He held her hand, gazed up at her sweetly, and even rested his head in her lap at one point. It’s sort of the cutest thing you’ll see all day.
“It still brings tears to my eyes because I remember how special the moment was, since he doesn’t do those things with other people,” said Amanda Coley. “I saw affection and I saw just happiness and that look that he was so at ease, that he wasn’t nervous or scared. He didn’t have any fears toward her at all. He’s not ever like that.”
The autistic boy who fell in love with Snow White, the fairest of them all, is now an internet star. You see, Jackson’s mom decided to post the video that she captured from their trip on her Facebook page. Over six million people watched Jack and Snow White’s love story, appropriately titled “Autism and Disney — When your 2-year-old falls in LOVE with Snow White,” over the past week and a half.
The interaction between Jackson and Snow White was something that Jackson hasn’t experienced before when it comes to strangers. His mom said that he’s very cautious around new people and usually doesn’t interact with people he doesn’t know.
“It varies from fearful to shy. With some people, he will cry or other people he will back away from and ignore. Children his age he ignores. He likes to watch them play, but he will not interact with them,” Amanda said about her son.
Snow White, however, changed something for Jackson.
“To our surprise, he didn’t get up and leave. He just suddenly melted and was perfectly content.”
Amanda Coley runs a Facebook page called “Disney Adventures And Autism” where she posts photos of her boys (she is also mom to sons Ethan, 13, and Landon, 9, who is also autistic) and shares her family’s Disney World memories. Folks are invited to see into Jackson’s world and to share in the joys he experiences every time he visits Walt Disney World. Amanda also hopes to encourage people who have a loved one who is autistic to continue to live life and try new things — and don’t forget your camera because you just never know when you are going to see something magical happen.
“Take them places and try things. We had no idea how Jack Jack would react to Snow White the way he did. You truly never know what’s going to touch them and bring a reaction out of them that you’re not used to seeing,” she said.
The autistic boy who fell in love with Snow White may not know just how many hearts his story has touched, but it is clear that his own heart has been touched. His mom says that he loves watching the video over and over again and will tell his mom “more” in sign language so that he may watch again.
“Maybe it’s a sense of security. He’s just very at ease and happy. It calms him and makes him really happy,” Amanda said.
Hopefully Jackson gets to see Snow White again soon.
[Photo via Amanda Coley/Facebook]