Harry Brinkworth, who is 11 today, was left in tears after classmates refused to go to his party saying it was because ‘their parents did not like him.’
Following the cruel snub last weekend Harry’s mum Hannah Brinkworth, 31, launched an appeal on Instagram asking for strangers to send him a birthday card.
Today (Tues) the youngster was showered with almost 300 cards from generous strangers from around the world who wished him a happy 11th birthday.
And his mum expects hundreds more are still on their way in the post.
She has also been approached by others parents saying their kids would like to celebrate his birthday and she is planning a special bowling party.
When asked what he thought of the hundreds of cards and messages that he had received, Harry said: “It was the best birthday I have ever had.”
Hannah said that Harry was “so excited” to read all the messages of support this morning from places as far away as Dubai, New Zealand and Canada.
She said: “It was special for him, and he enjoyed it – he just wanted to read every single one of them like a book.
“Everybody was referring to him as a superhero and saying that he’d done such a positive thing.
“He had a card from Dubai and a card from Texas, and also one from somebody in Canada and New Zealand.”
Hannah said that despite the celebrations they have planned, Harry was aware that his story was now part of a wider message about inclusiveness.
She said: “He understands the bigger picture of it, and he knows why it’s important and it’s not just him.”
“After today, the conversation will continue and so it should – that’s the important part.
“With autism, people are almost scared to have the conversation and scared to bring it up, but we shouldn’t be – we should celebrate our kids regardless.
“There’s been so many people reaching out and sharing similar experiences.”
The outpouring of love towards Harry began last Wednesday (Dec 1) when Hannah posted on Instagram that some parents didn’t want their kids to come to his party.
Speaking at the time, she said: “Harry is autistic, and we’ve known for a long time, and he’s not a bad kid in any way.
“He always wants birthday parties, but historically, every year we try to sort one and nobody comes.
“I mentioned to him that I needed to know what friends he wanted to come to his party so I could send invites.
“He said two names, but when I asked again he said they weren’t allowed to come.
“I said I didn’t understand, and he turned around and, at 10-years-old, said one had told him their mum doesn’t like him and they can’t play with him.”
Hannah said kids aren’t the problem, but rather parents need to think about what they say in front of them and consider the example they set for their children.
She said: “I found it absolutely baffling – it’s not the kids’ issue, it’s the parents’ lack of understanding about Harry’s issues.
“It’s not discussed enough how parents talk about kids with additional needs or SEN issues, and they don’t understand the impact of what they say in front of their kids, which is then repeated – it’s unacceptable.”
After writing the Instagram post about what happened, Hannah said she was inundated with messages asking if they could send Harry a birthday card.
She added: “I obviously got upset and went on Instagram as you do, and thought it would be nice to see if people would send some cards out to him so he doesn’t feel as lonely on his birthday as he always does.
“Honestly, I’ve had hundreds of people message me wanting to send cards out – it’s blown us away.
“I think a lot of people feel the same way.
“The amount of people who have kids with autism or ADHD who have said similar things, it shows that it’s not kids who are the issues, it’s the grown-ups.”
Hannah had urged people not to send gifts of any kind and to only send cards if they can afford to do so.
She said she just wanted to raise awareness of autism and help Harry to celebrate his birthday.
She went on: “We’re not doing it for any kind of pity party, and we don’t want people to buy or send expensive things.
“It’s just a case of making people aware of it and making a little boy’s day.”