An avalanche of well-wishers are joining a Michigan mom in proving to her young son via social media that he has friends, that he is loved and that he should believe in himself.
A boy referred to only as Colin, 10, of Richland, Mich., suffers from Asperger's syndrome and other health problems and told his mother there would be no point in organizing a birthday party for him because all the kids at school make fun of him, according to WLS-TV and the Kalamazoo Gazette. He told his mother he has no friends.
Colin's mom, identified only as Jennifer by the Gazette, decided to launch a Facebook page in honor of Colin's birthday to show him that he is not alone. As of early Wednesday morning, the Happy Birthday Colin page had generated 774,748 likes.
Asperger's is a disorder on the autism spectrum that causes difficulties in interaction and nonverbal communication.
The page launched by Jennifer appears to have gone viral and attracted media and followers from all over the world. The page is now a collection of well-wishes and supportive messages for Colin, who will turn 11 on March 9.
In one photo, a woman, perhaps Colin's mom, is standing in what appears to be a post office holding a huge handful of apparent birthday cards.
"The first mail from the PO box!" the post reads. "Colin still doesn't know (I hope) so I have to hide these!"
In another post, a cat is holding up a sign that reads, "Happy Birthday Colin! You Are Awesome!"
In another post from a Facebook group called Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support, a poster reads, "I can't promise to fix all of your problems, BUT I can promise, you won't have to face them alone."
Jennifer wrote on the page that she created it for her "amazing, wonderful, challenging son." Jennifer also wrote, "Because of Colin's disabilities, social skills are not easy for him, and he often acts out in school, and other kids don't like him … He eats lunch alone in the office everyday because no one will let him sit with them."
She added, "I thought, if I could create a page where people could send him positive thoughts and encouraging words, that would be better than any birthday party."