The Coley family (which consists of Amanda, her husband, and their three boys) took their annual family trip to Disney World in November of last year. Jack Jack, their 2-year-old with non-verbal autism, was uninterested in the costumed characters at Disney World just as his parents predicted he would be. What took Jack Jack’s parents by surprise was how the character Snow White captivated their son and was able to steal his heart.
According to PEOPLE Magazine, Jack Jack, who was not officially diagnosed with autism until two weeks after the family returned from this trip to Disney World, immediately curled up on the actress playing Snow White at the park. The actress playing Snow White returned the affection by hugging him and holding his hand. In the video of Jack Jack and Snow White (which has gone viral), the boy can be seen smiling and laying his head on Snow White’s shoulder. Based on several statements made by Jack Jack’s mother, the affection the boy was showing to Snow White was very unusual.
“To us he’s very lovable, he’s always been extremely happy, but when it comes to other people, he’s just very shy. If he’s scared of someone he cries. But otherwise, if he doesn’t know someone, he ignores them.”
Based on the description Amanda made of her son, a typical response would have been for the boy to cry or just ignore Snow White altogether. Instead, Snow White was able to steal his heart and the boy snuggled up to this Disney Princess as if Snow White was someone he knew.
In the picture below, Jack Jack’s mother shares that it was not just the toddler’s response to being at Disney World. There was something special about Snow White that touched his heart in a way none of the other Disney characters at the park were able to do, though Mary Poppins was able to get a half-smile out of him!
What makes this story truly special and inspiring is just how much Snow White was able to offer this 2-year-old with autism. Even after Jack Jack parted ways with Snow White and returned home, he has made it clear to his mother that this Disney princess touched his heart. His mother shared a video of Jack Jack watching the video of himself and Snow White on her Facebook page. In the video, she stops the video Jack Jack is watching and he clearly shows his mom the sign for “more” to tell his mother that he wants to continue watching the video of himself and Snow White.
Disney Adventures And Autism is the name of the Facebook page where Amanda shares the photos of her family and their trips to Disney World each year. According to the Facebook page, two of her three sons have autism and she enjoys sharing their Disney memories with people. With the Facebook page, Amanda hopes to encourage other families with loved ones who have autism to continue to get out into the real world and enjoy life.
“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.”
According to Amanda and her Facebook page, her 2-year-old son is not her only son to be touched in a captivating way by the Disney princesses. Amanda also shared a video on YouTube of her son Landon, who also has autism, singing and dancing the “Whip & Nae Nae” song while dressed up as Prince Charming for Cinderella.
According to a YouTube video Amanda also shared on her Facebook page, Landon is passionate about music and making YouTube videos. One day, perhaps, he will be one of the popular YouTuber icons with his own viral videos!
Will you be following the Coley family on Facebook and YouTube to see what other amazing adventures this family refuses to let autism stop them from having? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
[Image via Facebook]