With 1 in 3 children reporting that they’ve been a victim of bullying at the hands of their peers, it’s no surprise that the first day of school can be entirely nerve-wracking. If you have autism, like one 8-year-old boy at Menneha Core Knowledge Elementary School in Wichita, Kansas, that feeling can be exponentially worse.
When Courtney Moore’s son, Christian, saw the frightened young boy crippled by debilitating fear in the corner, he bravely took his hand and guided him inside so he wouldn’t feel so alone.
Courtney snapped a photo of the precious moment when her son consoled his newfound friend and proudly posted it on Facebook.
“I’m so proud of my son,” she wrote. “[He saw] a kid balled up into a corner crying, so he went to console him, grabbed his hand and walked him inside of the school! It is an honor to raise such a loving, compassionate child! He’s a kid with a big heart, the first day of school started off right.”
And Moore wasn’t the only one whose heart melted into butter over the endearing 8-year-old exchange.
Since it was shared, the post has garnered nearly 25,000 shares and over 6,000 comments from those moved by Christian’s act of compassion.
“That little boy…no..no no no.. That young man is exactly what America needs more of right there,” wrote Facebook commenter Thomas Hogan. “That is compassion friendship and leadership in its purest form. That look on his face, that to me says ‘We got this buddy.’ The highest of fives to him. Well done indeed.”
Countless others joined in with similar shouts of praise for Christian’s selfless act of compassion.
To make matters even sweeter, the post got the attention of April Crites, the mom of the boy who Christian comforted.
“Tell your son I said thank you so very much! That little boy he helped is my son and is autistic,” Crites commented. “I worry every day that he is going to get bullied for being different and your son just absolutely warmed my heart. If there were more children like him I wouldn’t worry about such things.”
Touched by the overwhelmingly positive response from Crites, Moore replied, “I hope that this will be the beginning of a new friendship for both of our sons. Your son was so sweet.”
The Wichita Public School District has also shared the story, which is now inspiring thousands to spread contagious kindness and empathy just like their third-grade hero, Christian.