“When Jack Jack kind of regressed at 6 months old, we sort of knew,” Amanda Coley said of her son’s diagnosis with autism.
“To us he’s very lovable, he’s always been extremely happy, but when it comes to other people, he’s just very shy,” Coley explained to Inside Edition. “If he’s scared of someone he cries. But otherwise, if he doesn’t know someone, he ignores them,” she said.
The Coleys (Amanda, her husband and their three sons) took their annual trip to Disney World last November, and Jack Jack, 2, was predictably disengaged with the park’s many costumed characters.
Until he met Snow White.
Jack Jack (who was officially diagnosed with autism two weeks after the family returned from their trip) immediately cuddled up to the actress playing the Disney princess, who reciprocated his affection, holding his hand and hugging him as he smiled up at her and laid his head on her shoulder.
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“Those are things we never get to see him do with anybody but us,” Coley said. “It gave me hope there watching that that he will have the ability to warm up to people someday.”
Jack Jack’s love hasn’t waned. He constantly asks Amanda to play the clip again, signs for “more” when it’s over, and tries to give kisses to the screen.
When the Coleys return to Disney World in November, Amanda wants to find Snow White (or at least the particular actress who was playing her last November) and thank her.
“I would just love for her to know how much this actually meant to us,” she said. “I appreciate how she took that time with him and didn’t rush him away. We’ve been in tears so many times just watching it and thinking about it. It’s something that we’ll never forget.”