Bob Cornelius became heartbroken after he found out that his son, Christopher, who has autism, has no friends. The realisation came after Bob took a photo of one of his son’s projects that were posted on the wall at his school. It was a card that listed down information about the kids, such as their favourite food, sport, and the like. On the part where it asked for the name of his friends, Christopher wrote down “no one”.
During an interview with Inside Edition, Bob said that “I couldn’t sleep when I saw it”, and adds “I was up all night”.
Bob shares that Christopher has asked him before if he can have a sleepover, since his brothers have had their friends come over before. However, when Bob asked his son who they will be inviting, Christopher wasn’t able to answer. Looking back, Bob realized that his son wasn’t able to answer since his son didn’t have any friends.
Bob has posted the photo on Facebook, urging everyone to start having conversations about autism and urged parents to talk about acceptance as well as to embrace and understand the differences of others. He adds, “It’s clear to me that he desperately wants to be part of the group, but his challenges make it difficult for his peers to include him.”
The photo has now gone viral, and the response has been overwhelming. People have sent Christopher cards, drawings, videos, as well as messages telling him that he should not be sad since they want to be his friend.
One of the responses were from the kids of Special Olympics – South Philly, who sent him this sweet video:
Go to the next page to learn more about autism.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the name for a group of developmental disorders. ASD includes a wide range, or “spectrum” of skills, symptoms, and levels of disability.
People that have ASD often have these characteristics:
- Social problems that can include difficulty in communicating with others
- Repetitive behaviours and limited interests and activities
- The symptoms are typically recognised within the individual’s first year of life
- Symptoms that can affect an individual’s ability to function socially, in school, as well as other areas of life.
Early treatment for ASD is important since it can help reduce difficulty for individuals affected by ASD and it can also teach them a wide variety of skills that make the most of their strengths. The different issues facing those affected by ASD means that there is no single treatment that can best be used to help those with ASD.
It’s important to work closely with a doctor or a health care professional in order to find the best treatment program that will work for the individual with ASD.
Sources: ParentHerald, Inside Edition, NIMH
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