If you have Autism or know someone who does, you know how hard some parts of life can be for them. One of the hardest parts of life is getting along with other people. For people with severe forms of Autism, it can be very hard to make friends. When this boy wrote that one of his wishes was to make friends, this is what broke his parents’ hearts. His dad decided to try to make that wish come true for his birthday. What happened was this.
Kevin Harrison and Catherine Harrison were looking over their son Daniel’s education, health, and care plan one night before his birthday (EHCP). This is part of a program by the UK government to figure out how much help people with special needs need. Daniel has severe autism, so they get this report.
There is a secion in the report for Daniel to write down things that are important to him or things that he would like to do. In this part, he said he wanted to learn to drive and make friends. The second wish broke his parents’ hearts.
Kevin said that Daniel’s autism is on the more severe end of the range. He can talk, but his answers are always the same. Communication is hard, and talking with other people is even harder. He has preferred to play alone for most of his life and hasn’t shown much interest in making friends. But it looks like that has changed.
Daniel’s 15th birthday was coming up, and Kevin wanted to do something special for him. He wrote something on Twitter about his son’s situation and one of his son’s wishes. Then he asked people on Twitter to help him make his son feel special and loved on his birthday.
He wrote, “Daniel’s my son. He was “deeply autistic.” He doesn’t have any friends. Today is his birthday. In his ECHP, he wrote that his two wishes were to learn how to drive and to make friends. Please congratulate him on his birthday. Show him that you care. “Share, please.”
Kevin thought that maybe a few of his followers who knew him and his son would answer. He didn’t think that thousands of people from all over the world, including some famous and powerful people, would send their best wishes. He and Catherine were both shocked to the core.
The Tweet started getting likes, shares, and replies until it became the most talked about thing on Twitter in the US. A very well-known person was responsible for a lot of that reach.
Yes, Mark Hamill from Star Wars did see the tweet and respond to it. He was one of the first famous people to answer, and just his tweet got 17,000 likes. The man who played Luke Skywalker wrote:
“More famous people joined the Twitter party, which spread the message even further. Russel Crowe, Sharon Stone, and Ariel Winter were among the famous people who answered. A lot of the thousands and thousands of responses were from parents of children with Autism, not just celebrities. Their message was simple: Daniel is not alone, and he does have friends all over the country and the world.”