Tricia Klein of Brantford, Ontario, is a mother of three. Her youngest son Timothy, age 7, was diagnosed with autism at the young age of 2. Since his diagnosis, Tricia has been a pillar of strength for her young son.
Klein started an internet blog, The Book of Timothy, which chronicles her and Timothy’s journey. In it she’s written the following about her son’s struggle to assimilate and blend in with his classmates:
"We parents of the 'specials' know only too well the hurts our kids feel when they are left out of the social gatherings relative to childhood. Organized sports, play dates, sleep overs and yes - the dreaded birthday parties.”
For Timothy, making friends can be particularly difficult. He yearns to have a friend and playmate, but his anxiety and other afflictions hinder his abilities to socialize. His mother wrote on her blog:
"He struggles with social interaction, but longs to be a part of groups and activities and have friends like every other kid his age. He loves to play soccer...watch YouTube videos and swim."
Obviously, Timothy sounds like any other kid his age. Unfortunately, his non-verbal autism makes it difficult to get along with groups of other children. Tricia Klein recognizes this and has always been apprehensive to subject her son to crowds of other kids.
On numerous occasions, classmates and their parents have tried to reach out and include little Timothy in a number of festivities. Klein has declined all offers. She writes:
"We have received countless invitations in the few years Timothy has attended school; of kids who mercilessly invite the entire class - and for that I'm grateful (don't get me wrong). Really cool sounding parties too. I wonder if the parents know what would happen if I brought Timothy? The interruptions...the meltdowns...how I would hate to take the spotlight from the birthday child. So we politely decline. Every. Single. One...Until this one arrived."
The “one” to which she refers is a letter sent by the mother of one of Timothy’s classmates named Carter. Carter’s mother, Ainsley Peikos, wrote the following letter:
"Carter sat beside Timothy at school and he always talks about him. I really hope he can come. We are renting a bounce castle that we can attach a small bounce slide at the bottom. We will also have water balloons and water guns. Maybe Timothy can come earlier in the day if it would too much with the whole class. Let me know so we can make it work."
Upon receiving this letter, Klein admits that she was very emotional. She said in an interview with ABC News that “[She] was shocked that someone would take not only the time to write the note, but to be considerate enough to include him with all of his difficulties. It was a wonderful moment."
With so much negativity in the world today, it’s always inspiring and wonderful to see such a simple but beautiful act of kindness towards a child in need.
Timothy attended Carter’s birthday party and had a great time! The two boys remain friends.
Klein shared the letter on her blog last year, though it’s finally getting the attention it deserves. Tricia Klein has a special message for parents all around the world regarding autistic children:
"I want only one thing for our kids--for all kids really, and that is inclusion. All they want is to feel included and accepted for who and what they are--that different is okay...it's just different."
Hopefully, the beauty and sincerity behind Peikos’ letter will inspire others to be as kind and considerate!
Images courtesy of The Book of Timothy
READ: Girl with autism makes a simple request after 3 years of complete silence
If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ to stay up-to-date on the latest from theAsianparent.com Philippines!