Sitting Alone at Lunch, a Boy With Autism is Joined by FSU Football Player

posted: 04/13/17
by: MIkayla Baiocchi

If Leah Paske lets them, her anxieties about her son with autism entering middle school can get overwhelming.

"Sometimes I'm grateful for his autism," Paske wrote on Facebook when sharing a touching story regarding her son and a Florida State University football player. "That may sound like a terrible thing to say, but in some ways I think, I hope, it shields him."

Paske says his autism keeps him from noticing when he is eating lunch alone--something she notes happens often. However, on one particular day, he was joined by a special somebody: Florida State University wide receiver Travis Rudolph. This moment has since changed the boy's life.

"I'm not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son," she wrote in the post that included a photo of the two sitting together, "but I'm happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten."

After Leah documented and shared this special moment, Rudolph was recognized for his kind act and for upholding the standards FSU holds its student body to.

According to the wide receiver in a video released by the university, after he was seen sitting with the student, other kids wanted to sit with him, too.

Moreover, the FSU football team welcomed the boy into the family, giving him a customized jersey, bringing him onto the sidelines for games and introducing him to players.

This story exemplifies how a little act of kindness can go a very long way.