Autistic boy finally treated nice by classmates, only to make startling video teacher can’t ignore

boy with autism thanks classmates
YouTube / Fox 8 News Cleveland

Lauren and Dan Dudas had sent their son, Noah, to a specialized school in the beginning. He suffers from autism, which made certain things more challenging that they otherwise might have been.

It transpired that he couldn’t settle in the school; he simply never felt like he belonged. In the end, his parents decided to enroll him at Avon East Elementary.

student with autism avon elementary
YouTube / Fox 8 News Cleveland

The Ohio school turned out to be absolutely perfect for young Noah, and for more reasons than one.

Primarily, though, Lauren and Dan probably have their son’s teacher, Michelle Szczepanski, to thank for his settling in.

In her class, Michelle keeps a “shout-out” bucket, where kids can take a card and write a compliment on it for one of their classmates. Michelle then reads out the words in class, giving the kids a warm boost when their name is called. One such shout-out was written by Declan Walsh, one of Noah’s classmates.

High praise

It held praise for Noah that read: “For teaching me that being different never matters.”

When Noah heard the words, he told Declan that no one had ever said such a thing before. In fact, Noah was so happy that he put together a dance video to show his appreciation for his classmates.

boy with autism thanks classmates in dance video
YouTube / Fox 8 News Cleveland

Noah celebrated in the video, before telling classmates: “You guys just stole my heart.”

Since Declan’s sister also has special needs, he could better empathize with Noah and his struggles. Even so, to give him a shout-out is an incredibly kind thing to do, and it’s certainly helped Noah to settle in at the school.

I think we could all take a leaf from Declan’s book when it comes to taking the time to make small gestures for those we think might need it. A kind word here, an act of goodwill there … they all add up. Ultimately, you might never even witness the effect of your actions, but it does the soul good to know that you’re doing your best to help.

We think Declan and the rest of Noah’s classmates deserve thanks for helping him to settle in!

If you think so too, and liked reading this story, share it on Facebook to spread some happiness.


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