Father's heartbreaking school photo highlights son's loneliness
Facebook/Bob Cornelius

When a father went to his son’s back-to-school night, he wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary.

He chatted to teachers and took a few photos, including one of his son Christopher's projects displayed on the classroom wall.

It wasn't until he got back home that he had time to read the whole thing.

And what he found felt “like a punch in the gut”, he told ABC News.

Among sentences about his son Christopher’s life, he found the words “no one” in response to “Some of my friends are…”

In a Facebook post that has now been shared more than 20,000 times, Cornelius writes about the moment he saw the answer.

Never have five letters cut so deep, and they weren't even directed at me... it was just an overly simplistic statement that spoke volumes.

And because I know him so well, and because I have pretty good handle on him after raising him for eleven years, I know this disconnect makes him feel lonely, and it makes him sad.

Cornelius explains how the loneliness suffered by children on the autism spectrum can be reduced, and what other parents can do to help.

The only solution I can come up with is to share this with you and ask that you have a conversation with your kids. 

Please tell them that children with special needs understand far more than we give them credit for. 

They notice when others exclude them. They notice when they are teased behind their back.

He even shared his family’s address, so those who want to send a supportive letter to Christopher can do so.

To highlight how rarely loneliness in children with autism is addressed he referenced the recent story of the football player who sat down with a boy eating alone.

These stories are newsworthy because they are unusual. We are not used to hearing about kids being kind to those that are different and unique.

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