"When you're a parent of a special needs child, you get lots of stares," Lynn Marie Rink told ABC affiliate WKRN. "Some people are kind, but you don't ever know what you're going to get."
Rink and her 9-year-old son, James, visited their local Apple store in Nashville last week to buy a new iPad. James, who has autism and Down syndrome, uses an iPad to communicate with his family by spelling out words, his mom told ABC.
While they were in the store, something outside caught James' eye. When he tried to run toward it, he collided with the glass window, falling over and smacking his head on the floor. Rink said the noise made everyone nearby gasp. She went to comfort her son on the floor, where they were approached by Apple employee Andrew Wall.
"He looked at me and he said, 'What can I do for you?' He might as well have given me a million dollars," she told WKRN.
Wall not only helped them set up their new iPad, he did it while sitting on the floor with them. Rink said Wall seemed to have a special connection with her son.
"He can close down real quick and he didn't with Andrew. I think he felt his spirit and openness," she told ABC.
After the sweet encounter, Rink posted about it on Facebook, asking for help finding the employee. When the post reached Wall, he wrote back to Rink, telling her he hopes to become a youth counselor someday.
The original post has more than 25,000 shares on Facebook, and Rink said she's glad the gesture is touching so many people.
"I think that's why it's resonating with people. It was such a simple act," she told ABC. "He just sat down."