Mom Shares Stranger's Heartwarming Reaction to Sitting Next to Her Son with Autism on a Flight
One mom is sharing her touching story after a stranger showed complete kindness to her son with special needs on a flight.
In a now-viral post shared to her Facebook account on Thursday, Alexa Bjornson explained that her 7-year-old son Landon had taken his first solo flight from their home in Las Vegas to visit his father in Oregon.
“I sent Landon with a letter to give to whoever sat next to [him] saying he has high functioning autism so he might be nervous and ask you ‘are we there yet’ a lot, and please just make him feel safe and comfortable, with 10 dollars in the note,” she explained in her post. “And this is what I just received ❤❤❤”
The accompanying photo was a selfie of Landon and a man named Ben, who had sent Bjornson, 28, the snapshot along with a sweet note about his airborne experience alongside his “great travel buddy.”
“Alexa, My name is Ben. I was Landon’s seat neighbor for his flight to Portland. He did ask if we were there yet several times but he was a great travel buddy,” Ben’s note began.
Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter.
“We had a good time and played a few rounds of rock-paper-scissors. He’s a great kid and you’re a lucky mom,” he continued in his note.
Ben went on to thank Bjornson for the money but insisted it “wasn’t necessary,” explaining that he had “donated it to Autism-Society.org in honor of Landon.”
“Have a great day!” he ended the heartwarming message.
“I am so grateful to this individual, and that there are still kind people in the world who make a difference like I try myself to do as well,” Bjornson concluded her Facebook caption. “Thank you so much Ben!!!!”
RELATED VIDEO: Mom of Boy with Autism Singing “Old Town Road” Elated “Achy Breaky Heart” Led to Breakthrough
Bjornson’s post has already racked up more than 39,000 reactions, 2,000 comments and 15,000 shares since she posted it less than a week ago, and she opened up to the Today show about the experience.
“I want to thank Ben all over again. He is amazing,” said the mother of two, who welcomed daughter Frankee two months ago. “It is a very humbling experience and I just hope that it raises awareness that if you see children having a hard time — or not — that just a kind gesture can change the outlook in their lives.”
Bjornson described her son as “very loving and sharing” and shared that she “knew he was going to be anxious and impatient like every other kid on a plane,” which drove her to write the note and offer the money — a gesture she told Today “just felt like that’s [what] I am supposed to do as a mom.”
“I didn’t think it would spark up a big response,” she admitted in the interview. “Regardless, we are pretty happy because it opens up the conversation. People can make a difference in someone’s life.”