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EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo. — Persistence by an Excelsior Springs mom led to change at her town’s grocery stores.

Bonnie Lapee said grocery shopping became an impossible task as her son who has autism got older. As a result, she’s been pushing for new grocery carts at her local stores for at least two years.

Now, her efforts have finally paid off.

Bonnie Lapee

“It was such a hassle to get him in and out or try to work with the cart they had that I literally stopped bringing him and just went when he was at school,” Lapee said.

Her 9-year-old son Garrett is on the far end of the autism spectrum.

“He requires extreme measures as far as supplementing his needs,” she said.

That’s why, for at least two years, Lapee has been petitioning her local Price Chopper and Walmart to provide a special shopping cart known as Caroline’s Cart. It was designed by a mom who realized her daughter would outgrow a typical shopping cart.

“I felt horrible as mom that I couldn’t include my son in everyday activities, and I felt even worse for him,” Lapee said.

Now, both stores have at least one of the special carts, which come equipped with safety belts, have adjustable handle bars and can hold up to 250 pounds.

It’s the little things we sometimes take for granted, but it means the world to this mom.

“It changed my son’s life,” Lapee said. “It made our lives different because my son gets to be included again.”

If you think a cart like this could help you out during your shopping experience, you can find all the stores in the metro that offer Caroline’s cart here.