Happy Birthday Colin
When you think back to (or even forward to) the day you drop your child off at their first ever school day, amongst the worries that a parent feels, aside from whether they will be able to cope on a mental level, is whether they will fit in. Will they be comfortable in their new surroundings, will they make friends easily, will they be open to bullying?
Sending children off to school is our warm up to sending them into the big wide world. It is often the first time many of us feel the pangs of not being able to comfort, console or protect them in the way that our instinct drives us to. And for the those parents with children with special or additional needs the anxiety we feel about how they will cope on a social level, may exceed our concerns about how they will adapt to the educational input.
Nobody wants their child to cope home and say that they have no friends, or spent their lunch break sitting alone. It is the stuff of parental heartbreak.
One Michigan Mum is making headlines today after she set up a Facebook page inviting the world to help her celebrate and wish her son Colin a Happy 11th Birthday. Why?
Well, after her 10 year old son told her he didn’t want a birthday party to mark his 11th birthday because he didn’t have any friends to invite, his mother Jennifer was understandably heartbroken.
Her son Colin who is reported to have a sensory processing disorder and another disorder similar to Autism or Aspergers syndrome, struggles with socialising with his peers on a daily basis, so much so that he chooses to eat his lunch alone in the school office.
No Mamma wants to hear that!
Colin’s disorders can cause him to melt-down at something the rest of us might consider as a simple light or sound.
Ninemsn.com.au reported Colin’s mum as saying:
“When you put a bunch of 10-year-olds and one who acts like that, and they are all going, ‘What’s wrong with that kid?,” she said.
“You know, it’s hard.”
The Happy Birthday Colin Facebook page has 1.6 million fans to date, with birthday wishes pouring in for the 10 year old who will know nothing about the page until his birthday next month. The page also includes a postal address for those wanting to send a birthday card to Colin (which many have reportedly already done).