This football player's gesture for an autistic schoolboy made his mother cry

This football player's gesture for an autistic schoolboy made his mother cry

People are sharing a photo of the touching moment an American Football player chose to sit and eat lunch with a child with autism during a visit to his school.

Leah Paske, who lives in Florida, posted the image of her son Bo on Facebook and explained that a friend had sent it to her, adding that the moving gesture had brought her to tears.

Travis Rudolph, a wide receiver at Florida State, was visiting her son’s school along with several other players when he saw Bo eating alone, and decided to join him for lunch.

Ms Paske wrote in an emotional post alongside the photo:

Several times lately I have tried to remember my time in middle school, did I like all my teachers, do I even remember them? Did I have many friends? Did I sit with anyone at lunch? Just how mean were kids really? I remember one kid on the bus called me “Tammy Fay Baker” bc I started awkwardly wearing eyeliner in the sixth grade, I remember being tough and calling him a silly name back, but when he couldn’t see me anymore I cried. I do remember middle school being scary, and hard. Now that I have a child starting middle school, I have feelings of anxiety for him and they can be overwhelming if I let them. Sometimes I’m grateful for his autism. That may sound like a terrible thing to say, but in some ways I think, I hope, it shields him. He doesn’t seem to notice when people stare at him when he flaps his hands. He doesn’t seem to notice that he doesn’t get invited to birthday parties anymore. And he doesn’t seem to mind if he eats lunch alone. It’s one of my daily questions for him. Was there a time today you felt sad? Who did you eat lunch with today? Sometimes the answer is a classmate, but most days it’s nobody. Those are the days I feel sad for him, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He is a super sweet child, who always has a smile and hug for everyone he meets. A friend of mine sent this beautiful picture to me today and when I saw it with the caption ‘Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son’ I replied ‘who is that?’ He said ‘FSU football player’, then I had tears streaming down my face. I’m not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a table with my son, but I’m happy to say it will not soon be forgotten. This is one day I didn’t have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes. Travis Rudolph thank you so much, you made this momma exceedingly happy, and have made us fans for life!

Rudolph was asked about the moment by a WCTV reporter and said he also teared up after reading Ms Paske’s Facebook post.

He’s a cool person, I’ll hang out with him any day. And for the mom, if he needs my [cell] number, he can get it.

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