LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A simple tweet from the father of a 15-year-old boy with autism has gone viral over the past week and prompted an outpouring of friendship and support, including from some big Hollywood stars.
“Daniel, for the first time, was asked at his special needs school to write two things that he’d like to achieve,” Kevin Harrison of Nottingham, England, told CBS News Monday. “The first thing was learning to drive. And the second, which surprised us, was make some friends. And we didn’t understand that he understood the theory of friendship. And it happens a lot with children on the autistic spectrum. Because they play alone, they want to be alone. And Daniel’s never ever talked to us about needing friends. So it shocked us to the core really.”
Kevin Harrison posted the message on Sept. 28, Daniel’s 15th birthday, and it immediately went viral.
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. ##happybirthday #autism #rt pic.twitter.com/Psu97TSj6g
— Kev & Daniel (@kevharrison_) September 29, 2021
The post got more than 55,000 replies, including from the likes of Russell Crowe, Mark Hamill, Sharon Stone, William Shatner and Ariel Winter.
It also got a large response from other parents with autistic children.
“People want to be loved, don’t they? They want to be liked, its a universal feeling,” Harrison said.
For my friend Daniel: 🎂 pic.twitter.com/gBIzuEb9Sk
— Mark Hamill (Mar🐫) (@HamillHimself) September 29, 2021