Autistic boy becomes honorary fire alarm technician

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (WOOD) — It’s an update to a story that gained national attention.

A note saying, “Buy that kid a muzzle!!” was written about a boy with autism. Now, a security company is giving him an experience he will never forget.

Brittany Miller was shopping with her son, Grandy, in Meijer a few weeks back when she says someone slipped a note into her cart. Her 6-year-old has autism and, as part of the diagnosis, he becomes an expert on certain things. Right now, it’s fire alarms, which he was mimicking in the store that day.

After seeing the original story, EPS Security in Grand Rapids wanted to give Grandy a special experience and show him how awesome it is that he knows so much about alarms.

“I’ve never seen him this excited. He’s going to talk about this forever. This is like Christmas and he loves it,” Miller told 24 Hour News 8.

EPS Service Supervisor Andy Hulings was one of the people to walk Grandy around their building Friday morning.

“He was walking through our building and saying the different model numbers and some he knew and I didn’t even know, so I’m very impressed,” Hulings told 24 Hour News 8.

For Hulings, showing Grandy around was personal.

“I knew that EPS had to do something. My son has autism. A lot of times parents with children who have autism feel very isolated and alone that people around them don’t know what they’re going through. So the smaller gesture of ‘hey we understand [and] we want to help’ goes a long way,” Hulings added.

That help meant spoiling Grandy with a uniform, a visit from the Grand Rapids Fire Department and access to the EPS training facility.

It also means the world to his mom.

“It’s absolutely amazing that someone would reach out like this. It’s fire alarms, it’s not SpongeBob where you can just go to the store and he can pick something out. So for somebody to do something like this, it’s something I could never give him. It’s absolutely amazing,” Miller said.

“Back before I was a parent with a child with autism, I didn’t know the difference. I probably would’ve been somebody who said something under my breath, a thought in my head, until my life was changed. We just have to accept there are people who are different, and that doesn’t mean they should be treated different,” Hulings said.

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