A soon-to-be 11-year-old will be getting a surprise on his birthday: a positive message from more than a million people.
The Michigan boy, named only as Colin, will have his birthday on March 9. He told his mother Jennifer that he doesn’t want a birthday party as he has no friends and is teased at school. She notes that “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. ”
Colin has sensory processing disorder, a neurological condition in which sensory information is blocked or delayed while being processed by the brain. In some cases it can cause motor problems, though in Colin’s case the main difficulty is an extreme sensitivity to changes in light and sound. He also has an Aspergers-like condition.
Jennifer decided to prove that while Colin’s classmates might not be too welcoming, there are plenty of people with a more positive attitude, so she turned to Facebook.
Thankfully she was smart enough not to set up an account and ask for friends for the 10-year-old, but instead set up a page for people to post birthday messages. The page first started gathering local media coverage and passed the 10,000 “likes” mark before attracting international interest and snowballing. At the time of writing, more than 1.6 million people had “liked” the page.
Given the extensive media interest, there’s two borderline-miraculous points about the story. Although it would likely be easy to track down, nobody appears to have discovered and published Colin’s surname. And so far, Colin remains unaware of the Facebook page despite a couple of close calls.