Mom Of Son With Autism Writes Open Letter To High School Asking For Kindness And Understanding

"Please do me a favor and raise very kind kids."

In preparation for the new school year, people are buying supplies, adjusting their bedtimes, and brushing up on last year's lessons. But some prep requires a little more than a store run or a syllabus overview. 

To help prepare her son, Damien "Zeke" Gibson, for school, Mom Cara Thulin recently took to Facebook to write an open letter to the students and teachers of Kickapoo High School to teach them a little about Zeke. 



In the letter, Thulin explains that Zeke has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a developmental condition under the pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) that affects people in different ways. For some, it can result in learning disabilities, difficulty in social situations, or sensory sensitivity. For Zeke, his brain "grew up focusing on protecting [himself] from being overwhelmed by sounds, and light, textures, and smells."

Thulin explains that Zeke might react differently in social situations, but he still notices when people laugh at him. She suggests that other students can compliment his band T-shirts, and expect him to answer them, stare at the floor, or run away.

But the important thing is that he'll know that someone cares.

Thulin ends her post saying, "I am raising a very VERY strong kid. Please do me a favor and raise very kind kids in return."

Since writing the post, Thulin has been surprised by its far reach. She told The Springfield News-Leader, "I love to explain Zeke, as best I can, to anyone who will listen. I find him and his brain completely fascinating."I feel like once they get to know him, they will want to know more."

Other parents with kids who have special needs or learning disabilities have also written similar letters to schools, encouraging parents to teach their kids compassion. The responses have generally been very positive as the more information people have about those different from them, the more understanding and caring they can be. 

(H/T: Scary Mommy)

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