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Bill the Cat
09-01-2016, 10:14 AM
Quite a bit has been made on sports news and networks about this video:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCecPlWkAXQ

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http://www.nbc12.com/story/32936845/fsu-football-player-brings-mother-to-tears-by-eating-lunch-with-son-who-has-autism

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (KMOV.com) – A wide receiver from Florida State University brightened the day of a boy with autism who was eating lunch alone.

Travis Rudolph was visiting a middle school Tuesday afternoon with some of his Seminole teammates when he noticed the boy sitting alone. He approached the boy’s table and joined him.

When the boy’s mother, Leah Paske, was sent a photo of the two eating lunch, she took to Facebook to express her gratitude.

Her entire post read:


“Several times lately I have tried to remember my time in middle school, did I like all my teachers, do I even remember them? Did I have many friends? Did I sit with anyone at lunch? Just how mean were kids really? I remember one kid on the bus called me "Tammy Fay Baker" bc I started awkwardly wearing eye liner in the sixth grade, I remember being tough and calling him a silly name back, but when he couldn't see me anymore I cried. I do remember middle school being scary, and hard. Now that I have a child starting middle school, I have feelings of anxiety for him, and they can be overwhelming if I let them. Sometimes I'm grateful for his autism. That may sound like a terrible thing to say, but in some ways I think, I hope, it shields him. He doesn't seem to notice when people stare at him when he flaps his hands. He doesn't seem to notice that he doesn't get invited to birthday parties anymore. And he doesn't seem to mind if he eats lunch alone. It's one of my daily questions for him. Was there a time today you felt sad? Who did you eat lunch with today? Sometimes the answer is a classmate, but most days it's nobody. Those are the days I feel sad for him, but he doesn't seem to mind. He is a super sweet child, who always has a smile and hug for everyone he meets. A friend of mine sent this beautiful picture to me today and when I saw it with the caption "Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son" I replied "who is that?" He said "FSU football player", then I had tears streaming down my face. Travis Rudolph, a wide receiver at Florida State, and several other FSU players visited my sons school today. I'm not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I'm happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten. This is one day I didn't have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes. Travis Rudolph thank you so much, you made this momma exceedingly happy, and have made us fans for life! #travisrudolph #gonoles#FSU #autismmom #fansforlife

— with Florida State Seminoles Football.

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As many of you know, my 15 year old also has autism spectrum disorder, and many of the things shared by this mother are common to those of us who parent someone on the spectrum. My son doesn't have the physical manifestations like this young man has, with the twitching and flapping hands, but he does have outbursts of animal noises and such, so I know the pain of seeing an empty lunch table and a peer-less birthday party.

I would first like to commend Mr. Rudolph and say what an amazing thing he did for this young man. He and his family deserve every bit of praise for his actions, and his parents for raising him right. It's rare today to see such selflessness, especially from young college kids who play sports on a national stage.


But it got me thinking... I made a few comments on social media that I'd like to share so that they don't get lost in the shuffle, and so others can comment and share their experiences and thoughts on this story.


- I know he was excited. I just wonder if the other students learned a lesson from his kindness. And as one who has seen his son eat alone and have no one from class at birthday parties, I can say it made me smile reading the story, but the reality still is what it is. Tomorrow is a new day and I'm hoping that it doesn't return to normal for the little fella.

- I am a father of an autistic son too. My son was like this boy, without the hand motions... lonely birthday parties, sitting alone on the bus, never playing with the neighbor kids, etc. Stories like this are necessary for people to understand what we and our children go through EVERY DAY. Hopefully the kids at that school learned something valuable about people with autism and they learn some long term compassion. Hopefully, he wasn't by himself the next day...



Autism isn't some contagious disease. It's just something they have that is a challenge - which we all have some sort of challenge... Each of us should be encouraging our children to be cognizant of their surroundings and look for things like this to try to make them better. It took a national news story for people to applaud Travis Rudolph, but honestly, how many looked at the other side of the story with anything more than pity?

Anyway... thoughts??

Sparko
09-01-2016, 12:37 PM
Kids in school can be cruel. I went through a lot of that myself as a shy, fat, nerd in grade school. I was a bit luckier because I always had a couple of friends (also outcasts) and we hung together.

God, how I hated gym class. I was always picked on, and picked last for any team.

Faber
09-01-2016, 03:06 PM
Kids in school can be cruel. I went through a lot of that myself as a shy, fat, nerd in grade school. I was a bit luckier because I always had a couple of friends (also outcasts) and we hung together.

God, how I hated gym class. I was always picked on, and picked last for any team.

If there were an odd number of students to get picked, the captains usually wanted second pick, because I would be the last and would wind up with whoever had first pick.

Abigail
09-02-2016, 04:41 AM
Some kids with autism do want friends though and I often think those guys have it worse than the ones who dont notice when they dont have friends.

The young guy who allegedly planned to shoot Donald Trump comes from a town very near me and we have had some articles in our local paper because he is autistic. He is having a hard time in prison. Everyone who knows him in his town is just so stunned that this could have happened. His mother says people with autism understand things differently and he was clearly not in the right frame of mind at that point. Some of the things I have read havevreally made me sad for him and his family and am praying for them.

Janice
09-03-2016, 09:22 PM
I have two grandchildren who are autistic and they are cousins not siblings.

Janice
09-04-2016, 09:23 AM
If there were an odd number of students to get picked, the captains usually wanted second pick, because I would be the last and would wind up with whoever had first pick.

Ditto!

KingsGambit
09-04-2016, 06:30 PM
When I was in school they would never even think about letting kids pick their own teams, to avoid such situations. They would just line us up 1/2, 1/2, 1/2...

Janice
09-04-2016, 07:03 PM
When I was in school they would never even think about letting kids pick their own teams, to avoid such situations. They would just line us up 1/2, 1/2, 1/2...

Well, back in my day, I don't think they had thought of that!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v723/Idnam/Old%20Pics/School%20Daze_zpsh8kqgcvb.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Idnam/media/Old%20Pics/School%20Daze_zpsh8kqgcvb.jpg.html)

Cow Poke
09-05-2016, 05:30 AM
God, how I hated gym class. I was always picked on, and picked last for any team.

Yeah, I was small for my age, and didn't really care for sports at all -- so being forced to play sports and being "picked last" was a real thorn in the flesh. Eventually, I discovered I really enjoyed soccer, and frequently got to be the team captain. I got to do the picking!

Cow Poke
09-05-2016, 05:36 AM
I have a sister who has grandchildren who are, supposedly*, autistic. It is INSANE how she lets them get away with stuff "because they're special". It's like these kids have no hope of ever having a normal life, because they're being "protected".

On the other hand, we have a couple of autistic kids in our Church. One is pretty withdrawn, and hard to interact with. I wish I understood autism better. The other seems to really love me, and we have a bond. His mom told me "Erik loves you because he says you 'treat him normal'". What a novel idea! Treat people 'normal'! :smile:


*I say "supposedly", because, apparently, whatever testing (I didn't get deep into that with her) has been done reveals "slight autism"? So, it's like they've studied extreme autism, and don't realize they're pushing the grandkids to be "like that". They (my sister and her husband) seem to be amplifying any 'odd' characteristics the kids exhibit.

rogue06
09-05-2016, 06:25 AM
In this day and age when so many athletes are in the news in a negative way for their off the field (and sometimes on) activities it is good to remember that there are a large number who are quietly out there doing good. I know several (now retired) Atlanta Braves (the local pro baseball team for those of you outside the U.S.) who spent a great deal of their free time doing work for various charities and even using the stuff they enjoyed doing to raise money (several loved to golf so they would hold numerous fundraising golf tournaments).

Cow Poke
09-05-2016, 07:30 AM
In this day and age when so many athletes are in the news in a negative way for their off the field (and sometimes on) activities it is good to remember that there are a large number who are quietly out there doing good. I know several (now retired) Atlanta Braves (the local pro baseball team for those of you outside the U.S.) who spent a great deal of their free time doing work for various charities and even using the stuff they enjoyed doing to raise money (several loved to golf so they would hold numerous fundraising golf tournaments).

Yeah, quite a few of the Houston Astros are involved in really good community work.

I remember when Albert Pujols' ninth-inning homer in Game 5 of the 2005 NLCS caused Brad Lidge to collapse on the pitcher's mound in disbelief, and I really really wanted to hate Pujols. :mob: I went home and googled him, and found what an incredibly decent and generous guy he was. I HATE it when that happens! :rant:

Bill the Cat
09-05-2016, 08:50 AM
In this day and age when so many athletes are in the news in a negative way for their off the field (and sometimes on) activities it is good to remember that there are a large number who are quietly out there doing good. I know several (now retired) Atlanta Braves (the local pro baseball team for those of you outside the U.S.) who spent a great deal of their free time doing work for various charities and even using the stuff they enjoyed doing to raise money (several loved to golf so they would hold numerous fundraising golf tournaments).

Having grown up near Richmond, we had our local baseball team do several charity fundraisers. It's required by the league. Not that it's a bad thing, but I find the college kids that do these sort of things to be a bit more impressive because it isn't required. Plus, all that he would have had to do was go and sit in the lunch room. He didn't have to single out Bo and ask to sit with him. Good on anyone who does charity, but this was especially cool to me.

rogue06
09-05-2016, 09:24 AM
Having grown up near Richmond, we had our local baseball team do several charity fundraisers. It's required by the league. Not that it's a bad thing, but I find the college kids that do these sort of things to be a bit more impressive because it isn't required. Plus, all that he would have had to do was go and sit in the lunch room. He didn't have to single out Bo and ask to sit with him. Good on anyone who does charity, but this was especially cool to me.
I've always had a problem with mandatory volunteering. If it's mandatory then it cannot be volunteering.

Cow Poke
09-05-2016, 09:27 AM
I've always had a problem with mandatory volunteering. If it's mandatory then it cannot be volunteering.

Yeah, about the only time I don't mind it is when it's "community service" as part of a sentencing arrangement. The highway trash (for example) gets picked up at little or no cost to the taxpayer, and the "volunteer" may or may not enjoy the outing - it's strictly left up to the "volunteer". :smile:

rogue06
09-05-2016, 09:36 AM
Yeah, about the only time I don't mind it is when it's "community service" as part of a sentencing arrangement. The highway trash (for example) gets picked up at little or no cost to the taxpayer, and the "volunteer" may or may not enjoy the outing - it's strictly left up to the "volunteer". :smile:
I'm thinking of how some employers tell the people working for them that they're required to do some volunteer work (for a charity that they approve) often so that they get some sort of tax credit or at least can advertise how the company "gives back" to the community, or a school tells students that they must volunteer at an approved charity as a requirement for passing. Such coercion is one step down from a type of slavery (forcing people to work for free). Of course they are always "free" to quit. :ahem:

Janice
09-05-2016, 11:26 AM
I have a sister who has grandchildren who are, supposedly*, autistic. It is INSANE how she lets them get away with stuff "because they're special". It's like these kids have no hope of ever having a normal life, because they're being "protected".

On the other hand, we have a couple of autistic kids in our Church. One is pretty withdrawn, and hard to interact with. I wish I understood autism better. The other seems to really love me, and we have a bond. His mom told me "Erik loves you because he says you 'treat him normal'". What a novel idea! Treat people 'normal'! :smile:


*I say "supposedly", because, apparently, whatever testing (I didn't get deep into that with her) has been done reveals "slight autism"? So, it's like they've studied extreme autism, and don't realize they're pushing the grandkids to be "like that". They (my sister and her husband) seem to be amplifying any 'odd' characteristics the kids exhibit.

It's really difficult! One autistic boy at church would hug my husband when he put his coat on. Later his dad told my husband it was because his son likes leather coats.

My granddaugher does very well academically, but she's very, very quiet. My grandson is five and still seems like a toddler (I haven't seen him in years ---he lives far away).

Janice
09-05-2016, 11:34 AM
Having grown up near Richmond, we had our local baseball team do several charity fundraisers. It's required by the league. Not that it's a bad thing, but I find the college kids that do these sort of things to be a bit more impressive because it isn't required. Plus, all that he would have had to do was go and sit in the lunch room. He didn't have to single out Bo and ask to sit with him. Good on anyone who does charity, but this was especially cool to me.

My dad required me and my brother to give ten per cent of our allowance to charity. I appreciated that lesson SO MUCH. My mother (divorced from Dad) said that was SO WRONG. So my brother feels like we were being mistreated.

Jedidiah
09-05-2016, 01:44 PM
My eldest grand son is an autistic. He has a job and lives on his own. Yeah he is different, but so are a lot of us.