The father of an autistic child has used Facebook to make an impassioned plea about his son.
The father, Bob Cornelius, tells the story of an event involving his son, Christopher, reports Inspire More.
In September, at Christopher’s back-to-school night, the boy’s teacher had the students fill out a questionnaire about themselves.
There were spaces for the student to fill in the teacher’s name, members of his or her family, favorite food, favorite sport, favorite TV show, favorite song and favorite school activity.
Christopher declared pizza to be his favorite food, soccer to be his favorite sport, and also answered all the other questions.
But one answer hit Christopher’s father hard. In response to the question “Some of my friends are,” Christopher simply wrote the words “No one.” It was that response which compelled Bob to publish his thoughts on Facebook.
“Never have five letters cut so deep, and they weren’t even directed at me….it was just an overly simplistic statement that spoke volumes,” he wrote.
In his post, he eloquently argued that the reason autistic kids like Christopher often don’t have friends is because other children are not taught how to understand those with autism.
“I don’t mean to imply that parents that don’t have this conversation with their kids are bad people, but only that somewhere in between working, soccer practice, and homework, it never occurred to them to have this particular conversation,” Bob wrote.
He cited the incident in August 2016 when Florida State Seminoles college football star Travis Rudolph sat down and had lunch with a young student he did not know — an autistic boy named Bo Paske, reported the Orlando Sentinel.
Bob explained how he felt about the incident:
That player didn’t know the boy was on the autistic spectrum when he sat down with him…he just saw a boy eating lunch all by himself and decided to join him. A teacher snapped a picture of the moment and it went viral. That’s what made the story great….it wasn’t staged…it was just a real moment of human kindness.
The follow up to that story was that the boy no longer ate alone; that the other kids NOW were sitting with him and patting him on the back. That boy now had “friends,” and everything was right with the world.
So Bob pleaded with his Facebook readers to share that story with their kids, and then in turn share his post with their friends.
Sources: Inspire More, Orlando Sentinel / Photo credit: Alexy Rubstov/Flickr, Inspire More