NJ teens give 5-year-old boy with autism impromptu skateboard lesson
For Carter, a 5-year-old with high functioning autism and ADHD, it might have been the perfect birthday.
The boy’s mother, Kristen Braconi, took him to a skate park in South Brunswick, New Jersey, for his fifth birthday last week. As Carter was riding his scooter, a group of older kids showed up and began to teach him how to use a mini skateboard.
They showed him how to balance on it, offered encouraging words and helped him up when he fell. Later they even sang him happy birthday.
“The kids went above and beyond and that’s what it was all about,” said Braconi, who filmed the scene and shared it on the local community’s Facebook page.
“I wanted to recognize the kids and their parents because when you can show their parents how kind and respectful they are when you aren’t around you know you have done a great job!” she told CNN. “They did so much more than they knew.”
Braconi says the teens did not know that Carter has autism.
“They wanted to do that for him and their kindness and inclusion without knowing anything was going on with him, it was amazing,” she said, adding that Carter gained a lot of confidence from the positive social interaction.
In one of the videos, the older boy who loaned Carter the skateboard can be heard saying, “This kid’s already better than me.”
After they left the park, Braconi and her son went to get ice cream and sandwiches and brought them back for the kids, she said.
Her videos went viral and prompted the South Brunswick police to share an appeal on Twitter in the hope of finding the older kids to reward them for their kindness.
The “superheroes” were soon located.
“We will be having a pizza party, possibly next week,” Braconi said.