A mom’s message of gratitude for a stranger’s kindness to her son recently went viral on Facebook. It reminded her that sometimes, all it takes is one small person to make a big difference in the lives of others. Find out why more than 50,000 people have shared this photo of two boys playing together.
Katie Myers’ 1-year-old son Kaden uses a wheelchair due to spinal muscular atrophy, a degenerative genetic condition that results in progressive limitations of a child’s movement. The majority of children born with this condition do not survive past age 2.
Kaden and his mom met the boy in the photo during a trip to a science museum and aquarium in Florida. When the boy noticed that Kaden was having trouble playing with one of the exhibits, he didn’t hesitate to come over and help.
Myers tells Huffington Post that what was most touching about the encounter was that the boy saw more than just Kaden’s disabilities. He saw the ways in which he and Kaden were alike, rather than different. Although strangers are often kind to Kaden, his mother says, they often don’t seem to see the same intelligent and inquisitive boy that she sees, but only a person with a disability.
Myers later posted the picture to her Facebook page for Kaden, thanking the young stranger for playing with Kaden, for actually seeing him and for “being amazing.”
To Myers’ surprise, the photo quickly garnered more than 250,000 “likes” and more than 50,000 people had shared the photo. She said that the response “made me think about how one person can spark some discussion that can change the way people think about things.”
All children need play and interaction, but for some children, including those on the autism spectrum, therapeutic play can foster the development of both physical and social skills. Consider donating to fund a family play session for a child with autism.