A Michigan 10-year-old told his mom not to give him a birthday party because he had no friends. So she has created a Facebook page to show him he’s not alone.
Don’t tell him. It’s a birthday surprise.
Colin, diagnosed with an Asperger-like disorder, knows what it’s like to have people avoid him.
“Lights and sound and changes will cause him to melt down,” his mom told WOOD-TV. He eats lunch alone in the school office because other kids don’t want to sit with him.
Asperger syndrome is hard to pin down. There’s disagreement on diagnoses as well as treatments. Kids with the diagnosis are usually more than bright enough to succeed in school, but their behavior keeps them from fitting in -- they have trouble handling their emotions or have outbursts from continual frustration.
Other children as well as teachers can be uncomfortable with them. Like Colin, they may end up alone in a crowd, well aware of the lack of companionship.
Moms of Asperger kids are usually aware of the success stories -- the kids who have grown up to complete their education, get jobs and have families despite a difficult start in life.
But in the moment, it’s very tough.
So Colin’s mom, identified as Jennifer in news accounts, created the Happy Birthday Colin Facebook page. (We have reached out to her and will update this post if we hear back.) Her initial post includes this: “I thought if I could create a page where people could send him positive thoughts and encouraging words, that would be better than any birthday party.”
The page has exploded in popularity, with 1.2 million likes so far. Some of the posts include:
“Happy Birthday Colin from the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1046 Duval County Florida. Your best friends! God Bless.”
And from a Marine in New York: “Hey there Colin, this is Russell Carlson, but all my friends call me Russ, so you can call me Russ too. I know what it’s like growing up a little different and I know how mean kids can be. Keep that chin up with a big smile on your face and you’ll be okay.”
To round out the portrait of Colin, his mom also had this to say: “He is in 5th grade, and his aspirations for life are to be either a Pastor, a comedian or a missionary. ... He’s very active in our church, he’s the self-appointed greeter and opens the door for each person as they come to church. Colin loves his Nintendo 3DS, and Pokemon.”
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