When you’ve grown up on the autism spectrum, you get used to feeling a bit left out.
People with autism don’t always blend in with the mainstream kids at school. Their small differences and the ways they react to the day’s events can lead them to be singled out, and not in a good way. Yet when high school students take the time to get to know their autistic classmates, beautiful things can happen.
Blake Rice hasn’t always felt like the “life of the party,” but his fellow students at South Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, North Carolina see him as the sweet, friendly person he truly is inside. In order to honor their friend, students recently got together and nominated Blake to be their Homecoming King.
And he won.
In a video that’s going viral around the web, Blake is crowned Homecoming King before an excited audience of his wildly-cheering peers. He gracefully accepts his crown and even does a little prance around the gym to celebrate before heading over to the bleachers to dole out high fives.
“We are so proud of you for this amazing display of love and inclusion,” school administrators wrote on Facebook.
Blake’s dad Matthew Rice is not only a proud father; he’s also a proud CMS Sabre and a teacher at his son’s school. He wrote an open letter to the school to thank them for opening their hearts to a kid who is just a little bit different.
“Often, honors like Homecoming Queen or King can become an exercise in the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have Nots,’ a way to divide the in crowd from the not so in crowd,” Matthew wrote.
“By choosing to honor Blake, you honor the best all of you have to offer this world. You chose not the hottest guy, or the richest guy, or the smartest guy. You chose the most unlikely guy, and supported him unconditionally, all of his complications and disabilities in full display and you ROARED your support.”
“As a dad, and a Sabre, I couldn’t be more proud of all of you. Not because Blake is my son, but because by choosing a kid like Blake you showed the world that you value above all else, inclusion. You showed the world that as Sabres, we celebrate our diversity as our strength. You championed the most vulnerable kid, because to you, it was the right thing to do.”
The popularity of this video cannot be overlooked. In a time when more people are discovering that they too fall somewhere on the autism spectrum, it’s wonderful to see a group of young people embracing the differences that would once leave them open to criticism. We hope this is the start of a movement towards inclusivity, acceptance, and love in our schools and beyond.
Source : inspiremore.