Colorado Teen With Autism’s Classmates Show Kindness After Public Rejection

By Shawn Patrick on February 21, 2023
Photo by Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images

The social life of a teenager can be hard, but one neurodivergent teen was met with kindness from his classmates just when he needed it most. Last week, Heather Starr shared a Facebook post explaining that her 14-year-old son, Roman, has autism and is very shy and socially awkward. She writes, “Yesterday, he made a poster for a girl at school and asked her to be his valentine at lunch in front of everyone. She said no.”

The Colorado Springs mom had no idea Roman was planning this big romantic gesture, if she had, she would have suggested a “less public approach.” He has a hard time understanding the nuances of social interactions, his mom explains, and he told her that after the incident, he was “very sad” but would be okay. And the next day at school helped make that happen.

The eighth-grader was given Valentines from classmates to make him feel better. Students handed him cards, notes and even a poster like the one he made for his crush, all filled with uplifting and positive messages of friendship. One note reads, “I thought it was really brave what you did. That took guts!” Roman told his mom that it was “one of the best days of his entire life” and he now has the notes and poster hanging on his wall, where he can be reminded of the kind words from his friends at school.

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