What will a mom do for a lonely son who struggles with Asperger's Syndrome and doesn't want to celebrate his birthday because he has no friends? One mom - Jennifer Cunningham - resorted to social media and got her son 1.9 million friends on Facebook.
"Happy Birthday Colin" is the name of the Facebook Page Jennifer Cunningham created to cheer up her son who will be celebrating his birthday next month. Colin is socially isolated because of Asperger's and having friends is not as easy for him like the rest of kids his age.
"I am Colin's mom, I created this page for my amazing, wonderful, challenging son who is about to turn 11 on March 9th. Because of Colin's disabilities, social skills are not easy for him, and he often acts out in school, and the other kids don't like him. So when I asked him if he wanted a party for his birthday, he said there wasn't a point because he has no friends," the first post by Jennifer read when she set up the Facebook Page.
"He eats lunch alone in the office everyday because no one will let him sit with them, and rather than force someone to be unhappy with his presence, he sits alone in the office. So I thought, if I could create a page where people could send him positive thoughts and encouraging words, that would be better than any birthday party. Please join me in making my very original son feel special on his day," she added.
As of reporting, the "Happy Birthday Colin" Page has garnered more than 1.9 million likes. The first post of the loving mom from Michigan has received 213,808 Likes and shared more than 28,000 times.
Individuals suffering from Asperger's Syndrome has extreme trouble dealing with social situations. Some of the common symptoms during childhood include difficulty in picking up social cues, inability to adapt when routines are broken, avoiding eye contact, having unusual facial expressions and posture, heightened senistivity to loud noises and other stimuli, focus on just one task, and sticking to a formal way of speaking that seem to be advanced for one's age.
Since creating the page on Feb. 2, the page dedicated to Colin started receiving Likes in a few hours and has reached more than a million Likes just after 10 days.
"Wow, the support and love has been amazing. Thank you all! I do want to mention that we are no longer doing any interviews, and we are not accepting call. And Colin's school is no longer accepting calls. Please remember THIS IS A SECRET! We love all the support, but let's keep it on the page, please," Jennifer said in a post Wednesday.
People from across the United States and across the globe responded well to the call for what could be the biggest birthday surprise for a kid on social media. People have been posting thousands of messages to greet Colin and admiring his mom. There are also a lot of photos and video messages that will be part of the surprise gift for the kid.
Colin's mom also received cards, letters, and gifts through a post office box she had to avail of because of the tons of requests received on the Facebook Page.
Jennifer has also shared how her son behaves and acts on an almost daily basis. She shared that Colin loves to go to school and has not complained once about it.
The older Cunningham asked her son why he loves going to school and got an unexpected reply. "Because you've got [to] keep trying," Colin said.
Ah, the magic of love in the time of social media.