A South African Mom has appealed to the internet to help make her son’s birthday special… just by sending him messages of love!
Mac is a 5-year-old boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He lives in the UK with his South African Mom, Dad and 3-year-old sister. The family moved to the UK in 2010 to explore work opportunities and have since created a life there. His Dad works as a Finance Director in London and his Mom left her corporate career to be at home for Mac.
Mac is an intelligent, articulate, loveable boy who loves receiving post and has a great sense of humour. Sadly, Mac is not able to socialise the way other children his age do.
“He does not understand how social interactions should be conducted; he does not understand why what he says or does is inappropriate; and does not know how to make friends. Mac also has no control over his impulses or his emotions which further compounds the socialising issues.
This all causes Mac intense anxiety so when something as simple as getting embarrassed happens, it results in a distressed and violent meltdown over which he has absolutely no control.”
This also means that otherwise simple things such as getting a babysitter, going to a braai, or having a party become stressful, difficult situations that are avoided.
Despite the outstanding support services available to Mac and his family, he left mainstream school and is currently homeschooling while a place is sought at a suitable special needs school for him. This is a confusing and uncertain time for young Mac.
Mac’s sixth birthday is on Friday the 14th of December but the reality is that a party would be overwhelming and not fun for him, so Mac’s Mom has had to think of another way to make him feel like he is part of his family’s wider ‘community’.
Knowing how much he loves receiving post, Mac’s mom has appealed to the internet to send birthday wishes, letters and cards to an email address which she will print and put in the postbox for Mac to open. How special would it be to open a post box full of wishes on the morning of his birthday!!! It would literally make his whole day and year.
“This may seem like a simple request for most, but what it would mean to him is that despite his differences… he belongs. And despite the fact that his brain works differently to most, he is valued by the society in which he lives.”
Please send all cards, letters and words of kindness to firstname.lastname@example.org (and we’ll be sure to cover the story, the morning of his birthday).