Dad Captures Son’s Loneliness in Heartbreaking Photo
It was an average parent-teacher night for Bob Cornelius of Rockaway, New Jersey. The dad met his son’s teachers and took pictures of some of his classwork hung up on the wall.
However, when he went back and looked at the photos, he noticed something heartbreaking. In an answer to the question, “Some of my friends are…” Cornelius’ 11-year-old son wrote, “No one.”
Cornelius posted the picture of his son’s classwork on Facebook and wrote a gut-wrenching post about the loneliness many children experience in grade school.
“I guess I’m sharing this because when asked to list his friends he wrote (sic) ‘no one’. Never have five letters cut so deep, and they weren’t even directed at me….it was just an overly simplistic statement that spoke volumes,” he wrote.
The dad mentions that his son is on the autism spectrum and while his peers also have developmental disabilities, it is especially hard for him to engage socially.
“And because I know him so well, and because I have pretty good handle on him after raising him for eleven years, I know this disconnect makes him feel lonely, and it makes him sad,” he continued.
In the post he also mentioned the recent viral news story where a Florida State football player sat with a kid who was eating lunch alone. Now, the kid has tons of friends who sit with him. But Cornelius says that it shouldn’t take a national news story for a child to make friends.
“If that football player had not sat down next to that child, and if it hadn’t become a national news story, that kid would still be sitting by himself today,” he wrote.
Cornelius goes on to say that he hopes this post raises awareness and encourages parents to speak with their children about inclusiveness. According to ABC News, Cornelius said that four Kansas City high schools are using his post to teach lessons in classrooms about inclusion where the kids are writing letters to Christopher.
Cornelius said he can’t wait to sees Chris’ reaction to all the mail he’ll be getting.
If you want to send a letter to Chris, it can be mailed to:
96 Valley View Drive
Rockaway, N.J., 07866