Special Needs Now

Send Birthday Wishes to a Boy With Autism

Hunter Kleis
Hunter Kleis is turning 9 years old in a week, and his father, Chad, hopes to surprise him with the ultimate gift: cards and gifts sent by strangers from around the world (from as far as Ireland and the Netherlands).

The Texan dad posted a request on Facebook last month, asking followers to help celebrate his son's birthday. Hunter is a high-functioning boy with autism who is non-verbal, but who loves to read.

As many of you know, our oldest son Hunter is Autistic, and as a result he doesn't have many friends, and he doesn't get invited to birthday parties or sleepovers.

His birthday is coming up on March 15th and he will be turning 9 years old. I would like make it a little extra special... I am asking for you to send him a Birthday Card. (He loves Mickey Mouse, Disney, Pixar Movies, etc), you can send them whenever, and we will hold until his birthday!

If you would like to send a card, here is the address:

Hunter Kleis
P.O. Box 6506
McKinney, TX

So far, the post has been shared over 9,000 times, and Chad's filled a shower with buckets full of mail. As Chad shared with a local ABC News site, "I don't care if he never talks...but I just want to make sure he's happy."

In other amazing birthday news, last year well-wishers sent millions of cards to an 11-year-old boy with special needs, and recently, over 40 strangers celebrated the birthday of a 6-year-old with autism.

Sherry Huang is a Features Editor for Parents.com. She loves collecting children's picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea.

Understanding Autism: Developing Social Skills

Photo of Hunter Kleis courtesy of Chad Kleis's Facebook page