ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. – A father is thanking people around the world for reaching out to his son with autism, who said he has no friends.
Last week, Bob Cornelius of Rockaway Township, New Jersey posted a photo to Facebook, showing one of his son’s class assignments that highlighted his loneliness.
Under a question that asked students to list some of their friends, his 11-year-old son, Christopher, wrote “No one.”
“Never have five letters cut so deep, and they weren’t even directed at me,” Cornelius wrote in the now-viral Facebook post.
One week later, Cornelius says he is overwhelmed with the showing of support from around the country.
In the past seven days, Christopher has received letters and gifts from people as far away as Australia and Argentina, WCBS reports.
“This is humbling. This is overwhelming,” said Cornelius. “It makes me feel grateful – grateful that people have the kindness to reach out to a boy.”
Cornelius said he hopes this opens a larger conversation about encouraging kids to have more empathy for kids with special needs.
“I was hurt, I was devastated and I was trying to find a solution,” Cornelius told News 12 New Jersey. “The only solution I could come up with was raising awareness, and having parents talk to their kids about being kind and including those that are different than them.”