You may remember a while back, a Florida State football player saw an autistic boy sitting alone at the lunch table. He sat with him, someone snapped a picture and the gesture went viral. In a world where social media is king, and one thing in someone’s day can quickly make them known by millions of people around the world, it’s awesome that we have the power to share good news—things that make our hearts happy.
We’re able to start conversations about autistic kids, bullies and a whole spectrum of other things that were never talked about so publicly before.
Bob Cornelius did just that. As he explains below, his youngest son, Christopher, is on the autistic spectrum. After looking at a piece of paper that Christopher filled out at school, Bob took to Facebook to share the paper and heartbreaking message with the world.
For those of you who don’t know, my youngest son, Christopher, is on the autistic spectrum. I went to his back to school night on Thursday and took a picture of one of his projects displayed on the wall, one of many cute little cards that all the kids in his class had filled out. It asked him to list his favorite foods, sport, TV shows etc.I took the picture hurriedly, and didn’t notice all the answers he had filled out at that time. It was only after I got home that something stood out upon closer review.
Do you guys remember, a couple of weeks ago, the massive amount of press that the Florida State Football player got when he sat down at the lunch table with an autistic boy that was eating alone? 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 we’re sitting with him and patting him on the back. That boy now had “friends” and everything was right with the world.
Something that wasn’t right was fixed, and tied up neatly with a pretty little bow of kindness and understanding.
Where were those kids prior to this child being thrust into the spotlight? We know where they were: they’re in the picture: sitting at other tables, ignoring him.
If that football player had not sat down next to that child, and if it hadn’t become a national news story, that kid would still be sitting by himself today.