An autistic boy is set for a dream birthday after his mum’s heartbreaking account of no-one turning up to his last party went viral.
Lisa Jackson, 43, told how her son Ben, 10, has a “heart of gold” but struggles to make friends because of his high-functioning autism.
She asked members of the public to send him a card for his 11th birthday on Saturday after not a single one of the 25 children invited to his 9th birthday bash attended.
Ben has already received thousands of cards from all over the world after Lisa’s post was liked over 20,000 times on Facebook and shared by thousands on other social media and parenting forums.
Ben’s local police and fire brigade have planned special outings for him, a Portsmouth FC community worker presented him with a football, a pizza firm is sending him free pizzas and a community group is organising an 11th birthday bash.
Other wellwishers have raised enough money to buy him an iPad as a birthday present.
Mum-of-three Lisa told how Ben has to contend with being called “nasty names” and other bullying from fellow pupils because he is a “little different”.
And she says he is left without anyone to play with in breaks or after school and is never invited to other children’s parties.
She wrote: “PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE can I ask for your help to make my little man’s birthday on 15th July one to remember this year, rather than one to forget!
“This is Ben, my son, he is 10 and has high-functioning autism. He has a heart of gold and just wants to be friends with people but his autism makes it extremely difficult for him to achieve this…
“On a previous birthday, I hosted a birthday party for him, inviting around 25 children. He was so excited and really looking forward to it.
“Everything was set up and Ben sat there eagerly waiting for everyone to turn up. 2pm came and went and nobody had arrived.
“Ben sat there saying repeating over and over ‘They will come in a minute won’t they mum?’ He still thought they would show up to help celebrate his special day.
“By 2.30pm he was getting more and more anxious and visibly upset, he kept asking me where everybody was. I just didn’t know what to say to him. It was obvious at this point that nobody was coming.”
“It was the most heartbreaking moment ever not only for me but for him too.”
“This year I want him to have a birthday to remember and hopefully undo the damage of the previous birthday which has had a lasting effect on him.
“Can I ask you from the bottom of my heart if you would kindly consider sending him a birthday card for his 11th birthday to put a big smile on his face and make this birthday one to remember for the rest of his life!!!”
Facebook deleted Lisa’s original post but it had already spread so far and wide that the public response has been overwhelming.
Police officers from Portsmouth and Southsea also answered the call :
It resulted in birthday messages and cards from all over the world.
Lisa, from Portsmouth, said she has been “amazed” by the public response.
She said: “I am overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity people from all over the world have shown.
“I thought he would get a few cards if I posted on Facebook but within hours it had gone viral and the response has been amazing. We have been getting huge sackfuls of cards and parcels.”