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This Boy’s Family Gets One of the Only Foods He’ll Eat for Free Thanks to a Kind Restaurant Manager

For many individuals with autism, food is a particularly tricky facet of life, as many have sensory issues that come into play when eating. Many people on the spectrum, therefore, are very particular about the foods they eat, often consuming only a few different things.

E.J. Patterson, a six-year-old on the spectrum, is one of those individuals. He will only eat two foods—one of them being McDonald’s french fries.

So naturally, his mother, Latonya Whitaker was very upset when a kerfuffle unfolded in the Golden Corral (for which the restaurant has since apologized). After picking up E.J. some McDonald’s fries, she and the rest of her family went to the restaurant for lunch but was approached by a manager.

“And his first words to me were ‘get that out of here. That can’t be in my restaurant,'” Whitaker stated.

She tried to explain the situation—that her son was on the autism spectrum and had food sensitivities—but to no avail. Very upset, the family elected to leave the restaurant and posted a very emotional video about the incident on Facebook.

But then a local McDonald’s heard the story, and the manager decided to do something incredible for E.J.: provide him with free fries for a year.

Check out the video below to learn more about the sweet gesture!

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A. Stout received a Bachelor of Arts in Writing through Grand Valley State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015. In addition to being a passionate autism advocate, she is a member of various fandoms, a study abroad alumna, and an animal lover. She dreams of publishing novels and traveling all over the world someday.