Zoo keeper makes carousel ride magical for young woman with auti - WNEM TV 5

Zoo keeper makes carousel ride magical for young woman with autism

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Source: Denise Wilhelm Crawford Source: Denise Wilhelm Crawford
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

A young lady got the ride of her life when she took a spin aboard a carousel.

It may seem like a simple activity, but it's not so simple for someone with autism. That is until she got a little encouragement.

The carousel at the Saginaw Children's Zoo was a challenge for 19-year-old Laryssa Crawford. Thanks to one of the workers at the zoo, Crawford had a life-changing experience.

Laryssa Crawford has autism spectrum disorder, which makes her afraid of lights, heights and loud noises.

"So that's when Heidi kind of stepped in and helped the situation, and helped ease her and ease her into going on the carousel," said Denise Crawford, Laryssa's mom.

Heidi Odette, zoo worker, said she got Laryssa on the bench at first and would wave to her every time she came around to make it special for her.

"I said if she doesn't go on the carousel she's never going to know what she's missing and so I was really glad that we got her to go on because I'm sure we'll be back and go on more rides," Denise Crawford said.

Laryssa said now she has a forever friend in Odette.

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