4-year-old with autism becomes honorary Wawa general manager

HOWELL, NJ (CHASING NEWS) -- "He comes in smiling and he puts a smile on our face. He's just a great little guy."

That's Kyle Sommer, customer service manager at the Howell, NJ, Wawa, talking about 4-year-old Brody Ewing.

Every day without fail Brody and his mom, Stephanie, go to Wawa, Brody's favorite place. The staff noticed Brody's happiness and had an idea to give him a special treat last month.

"What did I do?... Throw together a general manager name tag for him, got his own hat, got him a little pen," Sommer said.

That's right, Brody is now the unofficial general manager of the store.

The Wawa trips have an extra meaning. Brody is autistic, and even though he is high-functioning, raising him has been a challenge, Stephanie said. Going to Wawa has actually helped.

"He's come so far in the last year," Stephanie said. "He wasn't talking. He wasn't eating many foods at all.

"We started coming to Wawa and we had him try one thing, and from there it went to mac and cheese it went to chicken fingers, just a couple of things that he really truly likes."

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Brody does his order on the touchpad all by himself and even knows how his dad, Steve, likes his coffee.

"It means the world," Steve said. "Anything that makes my son happy, makes me happy."

Brody's parents say people who have children with autism should not despair, the condition is not the end, and things can get better. And inspiration, generosity and warmth can come from the most unlikely of places: a convenience store.

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