Mum's gratitude goes viral after cashier helps boy speak

CUSTOMER SERVICE: Theodore and Christie Kelly relaxing at home.
CUSTOMER SERVICE: Theodore and Christie Kelly relaxing at home. Mike Knott BUN140617KELLY5

IT'S the small interactions in life that can make the biggest of differences.

Bundaberg mother Christie Kelly is testament to this as she shares the moment a stranger's actions changed her world.

It was a breakthrough that may seem small to some, but meant the world to her.

Mrs Kelly's three-year-old son Theodore has never spoken to strangers and will not normally look at people.

He is selectively mute and will only speak when comfortable, rarely speaking to his mum or dad.

CUSTOMER SERVICE: Theodore and Christie Kelly relaxing at home.
CUSTOMER SERVICE: Theodore and Christie Kelly relaxing at home. Mike Knott BUN140617KELLY7

Mrs Kelly was almost knocked over as she did her weekly shopping at Coles and heard her child speak in public for the first time.

The cashier, Tiffany, began asking little Theodore if he liked Tiny Teddies when he replied "yes” and then continued to answer "yes” and "no” to many more questions.

The mother-of-four said it was a huge breakthrough for her son who was also diagnosed with autism two weeks ago.

"I was stunned,” she said.

"He has limited speech, but really opened up for the first time.

"I thought 'I could stay here all day and listen to this'.”

CUSTOMER SERVICE: Theodore and Christie Kelly relaxing at home.
CUSTOMER SERVICE: Theodore and Christie Kelly relaxing at home. Mike Knott BUN140617KELLY3

Selective mutism is a condition where children are able to talk comfortably in some situations such as home or around familiar relatives, but are not able to use their voice in other social situations where there is an expectation for speaking such as at school or with less familiar people.

It is a form of social anxiety where the child fears when people hear their voice they will react in a way that might be embarrassing for them.

It is usually diagnosed at three years of age.

Mrs Kelly took to social media to thank the young woman who took the time to bring her son out of the quiet.

She said it was difficult to have a child who was selectively mute some days, especially in social environments.

The post on the Coles Facebook page has now gone viral with almost 2000 likes, 66 comments and 70 shares.

With comments from people saying they had or know children with selective mustism and it was amazing to hear Theodore connected with someone.

"That's so amazing, made me cry,” Facebooker Donna Paton said.

And Mandy Alaban said as an ASD mother she knew the great feeling Mrs Kelly would have had watching her "little superman” engage how he did.

Coles replied to the post saying it was fantastic to hear and that Tiffany at the Kensington store made such great efforts to engage with the little one.

Others said maybe the young woman should look at a new career in childcare, but Mrs Kelly said Tiffany was a great advocate for Coles and she would definitely shop there from now on.

"Tiffany did such a wonderful job and she just needs to keep doing what she is doing,” she said.

Topics:  asd bundaberg christie kelly coles kensignton coles selectively mute theodore kelly

'There was more glass than shells'

LITTER: Bree Serafin took this photo of just some of the glass she collected from Kellys Beach on Saturday.

Litterbugs cause problems for families at beach

Man accused of stabbing neighbour to argue self-defence

The court heard the man had been swinging punches and Kohler produced a pocket knife he used for work as he was defending himself and his partner.

"He (Kohler) was acting in self -defence of himself and another.”

Dan Murphy's deal has Kalki Moon rising

GRIN AND TONIC: Michael Nash, Kylie Prosser and Rick Prosser are excited about their product being sold by Dan Murphy's.

Kalkie Moon on alcohol giant's shelves

Local Partners

REVEALED: What sparked the Coast's Bruce Hwy gridlock

STATE Government reveals the cause for the Sunshine Coast's traffic gridlock.

Painting a brighter future for koalas

WORTH SAVING: The Queensland Koala Crusaders' Community Crowdfunding Campaign aims to raise $30,000 towards the cost of planting 10,000 trees for koalas.

Queensland Koala Crusaders have launched a crowdfunding campaign

Help dog lovers do more good

DOG LOVERS: Red Collar Rescue Rebecca Ballyantyne, Terry Collins, Di McGregor, Yari Ottoboni, Lisa Marriot Annaliese and Tracey Amos.

Red Collar Rescue need region's support

The Project will now be on six nights a week

CHANNEL Ten’s Logie winning news and entertainment program The Project is expanding with a special Sunday night edition and a new host.

Click your fingers, tap your toes

Helen Peters, Elisabeth Wallis-Gaedtke, Evalee Sharples and Kemal Avunduk rehearse for Fascinating Rhythm, Sunshine Coast Oriana Choir's performance of hot jazz, sizzling samba, Latin beats and smooth swing sounds at Lake Kawana Community Centre on August 26-27.

Libby to set beat for Fascinating Rhythm this weekend

Margot Robbie is unrecognisable in London

Margot, is that really you?

MARGOT Robbie looks completely unrecognisable as Queen Elizabeth I.

Game of Thrones: Season 7 finale predictions

Emilia Clarke in a scene from season 7 of Game of Thrones.

JON and Daenerys finally met. But what happens next?

Reese Witherspoon on being a ‘has-been’ at 36

Witherspoon’s career has never looked better but that didn’t stop people declaring her a “has-been”.

Reese on the ‘brutal’ article that called her a has-been at 36.

Helping kids understand the wonder of the bush

FARM TV: Cilla Slack has just released her second series of Blue Gum Farm TV. The Gayndah farmer's show is available to download around the world.

Second series released for farm girl Cilla at Blue Gum Farm TV

RECAP: Game of Thrones s7 e6 - Beyond the Wall

Kristofer Hivju, Kit Harington, Iain Glen, Paul Kaye and Joe Dempsie in a scene from Game of Thrones.

*Warning this story contains spoilers about today's new episode*

Residents fear sand mine sell out by State Minister

Sand mine opponents attend the Nambour Council Chambers.Cou

Further testing undertaken on site, despite claims of significance

Investors quick to snap up property in key growth corridor

High-profile commercial site sells at auction for $4.920m

EXPLAINED: What the 'Costco effect' means for Ipswich

PRICE WARS: A Costco store similar to this one in Canberra, is planned for Ipswich.

Exclusive 'cult' about to change how families do grocery shopping

4800 homes to be built in massive new Coast estate

Masterplanned community full steam ahead - it's not Caloundra South