Daniel Harrison is a 15-year-old boy from Nottingham, England, and has autism. In school, he was instructed to write down two important things that he would like to achieve.
His response was to drive a car and to make friends. His dad, Kevin Harrison, said he was shocked to see that Daniel wanted to make friends, since children on the autism spectrum often like playing alone rather than other people. Daniel has never expressed that he wanted friends, nor did they think he understood the theory of friendship.
Harrison wanted to help his son out, so he took to Twitter to share his son’s wishes on his 15th birthday.
“Daniel’s my son. Profoundly Autistic. Hasn’t one friend. It’s his birthday today. In his ECHP he wrote that his two wishes were to learn to drive and make friends. Please wish him a happy birthday. Please show him you care. Please share,” he wrote, alongside a picture of his wishes and a picture of Daniel.
It didn’t take long for his tweet to go viral, and it eventually became the number one U.S. trending topic on Twitter. The tweet has more than 124,000 likes, 20,000 retweets, and 54,000 replies.
One of those 54k replies was Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in Star Wars.
“For my friend Daniel,” he wrote, with a birthday cake emoji and a GIF that says ‘the force is strong with this one.’
“This means a lot,” Harrison tweeted back. “For me as an 8 year old. And for my son who idolises you. And for every person with Autism.”
Other celebrities replied to Harrison’s tweet including Russell Crowe, Sharon Stone, and Ariel Winter. Many other replies came from parents who also have kids with special needs.
Daniel was over the moon when he saw how many people wished him a happy birthday from all over the world.
Harrison told CBS News that the tweet and story just goes to show that there are “a lot of beautiful, lovely people in the world.”
He hopes Daniel’s story will give people a sense of comfort. “Don’t ever feel like you’re alone,” he told CBS News. “Because I felt like that, and I know other families will. You’re not alone. Just simply that, people do love you.”Whizzco