This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Australia, which closed in 2021.

Young Boy With Autism Granted Wish To Clean Dishes In A Restaurant Kitchen

‘I almost fell to my knees. I started sobbing.’

A mum was floored by the kindness of the staff at a restaurant who made her stepson’s day by inviting him to the kitchen to help wash the dishes.

Katie Elizabeth Denton, from the US, said Slade, her 11-year-old stepson who has autism, loves dishwashers and washing machines.

While out for a family dinner at American restaurant ‘Ruby Tuesday’, Slade asked the restaurant manager, Ashley, if they had a dishwasher in the back. She said they had.

For the rest of the meal Slade couldn’t stop talking about it.

“I started thinking: ‘I’m just going to go talk to Ashley and ask her if Slade can peek through the window of the kitchen door and look at the dishwasher’,” the mum wrote on Facebook on 15 October.

And Ashley gave Slade so much more than just a peek.

When Denton explained to Ashley that her stepson would love to have a look at the dishwasher, the manager replied: “I’m already planning on bringing him in the back and letting him run some dishes through it.”

Denton wrote: “I almost fell to my knees. I started sobbing. I couldn’t believe that this sweet young lady who didn’t know our family, would go out of her way to let Slade look at something as simple as the dishwasher.

“I was floored. Speechless. All I could say was: ‘You are seriously about to make his life!’”

Minutes later, the manager came to the family’s table, gave Slade an apron and led him out to the back. Kitchen staff showed him how to use the machine and gave him a demonstration of washing the plates.

Denton filmed Slade and shared a photo and video on Facebook.

“You have absolutely no idea how special of a treat this was and how much we appreciate you,” she wrote to the staff at the restaurant. “We can’t thank you enough. You guys are rock stars and you made our boy’s day.”

Speaking to HuffPost UK, Denton said the reaction to her Facebook post has been amazing.

“There has been so much positivity and love, which is what we need in the world right now,” she said.

“I posted the video so that Ashley and the staff at Ruby Tuesday could get recognition for such a beautiful thing. But the reaction has been insane and we have been showered in love and support.

“Slade is even getting job offers and kitchen field trip offers from different restaurants.”

Suggest a correction
This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Australia. Certain site features have been disabled. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact