For Colin, on His Viral Eleventh Birthday

Shannon Des Roches Rosa By now you’ve probably heard of the Happy Birthday Colin effort, in which a socially isolated (though not autistic) boy’s mom created a Facebook page to cheer him up for his eleventh birthday — and the page went viral, with nearly 2 million Likes as of this writing. Colin’s mom writes: “I am Colin’s mom, I created this page for my amazing, wonderful, challenging son who is about to turn 11 on March 9th. Because of Colin’s disabilities, social skills are not easy for him, and he often acts out in school, and the other kids don’t like him. So when I asked him if he wanted a party for his birthday, he said there wasn’t a point because he has no friends. He eats lunch alone in the office everyday because no one will let him sit with them, and rather than force someone…

Ghanaian staff and students seated around a table.

Educating Autistic Students in Ghana: AACT’s Success Story

The Autism Awareness, Care, and Training (AACT) school in Accra, Ghana is a place of peace, calm, and competence—plus the occasional whoop, shout, or “eeeee”—while students and staff radiate not just positivity but confidence. This is because students are encouraged to learn to the best of their abilities, and are appreciated for exactly who they are. AACT is a remarkable place.