What do you do when your child says he doesn't want a birthday party because he has no friends? You create a Facebook page in his honour and invite well wishers to wish him a happy day.
According to an article in Yahoo, the mom (known only as Jen) had no idea that her surprise gift for 10-year-old Colin would go viral.
"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," she wrote, in a gesture reminiscent of this one.
Even though Colin's birthday isn't until March 9, the touching messages—more than 40,000 of them—have literally flooded the page. So much so that she is struggling to keep it a secret. Some have even offered special gifts, from a ride in a Corvette to a cash gift of $200 so that his mom can take her son out for a birthday dinner.
Frankly, this fifth grader, who's into Nintendo 3DS, Pokemon, and Doctor Who, sounds pretty typical to me, yet the impetus for the page was borne out of the rejection that Colin, who has Asperger's Syndrome, has suffered at the hands of peers (and their parents) ever since he was in kindergarten.
"The main thing was finding out that a lot of parents were trying to get their kids out of Colin's class and the teacher told him," Jennifer said.
"I think that this is a big problem right now, that kids are being misunderstood and don't have friends . . . I think too many parents are allowing their kids to exclude others because of weirdness."
Unfortunately, I can relate. My son sounds a lot like Colin. Even in kindergarten kids called him names, excluded him from parties and play dates, and I even fielded abusive comments from certain parents. Kids don't learn in a vacuum, they take their cues from their teachers and parents.
Visit Colin's page to wish the lad a happy 11th birthday.