‘Because everyone deserves a friend’: Boy with autism builds friendships with a pen
Published Tuesday, June 18, 2019 6:13PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 30, 2019 1:55PM EDT
Every child deserves a friend, and that’s why one young boy took the initiative to make that happen, through the power of the pen.
Lucas is a 12-year-old boy living with autism. Making friends didn’t come easily to him, so Lucas and his mom wrote a letter that would soon blossom into so much more.
The pair wrote to the Juno award-winning Canadian children’s musical team Splash n’ Boots. With their help, Lucas has built a pen pal program that matches children from all around Canada and beyond with peers. “It just connects him to kids around the world, and it connects other kids to other kids,” explained Taes Leavitt of Splash n’ Boots.
Lucas visited St. Michael’s the Archangel elementary school in Barrie on Tuesday along with Splash n’ Boots to talk about the program.
The old-style pen and paper method has helped Lucas to develop from being non-verbal to somewhat of a spokesperson. “I have a pen pal program called Lucas’ Letters,” he says, “because everyone deserves a friend.”
“He is continuing to surprise us, every single day,” says Nick Adams of Splash n’ Boots. “We brought him up in front of 1,000 people with a microphone, not knowing what’s going to happen, and he’s turned into this spokesperson, not only for the program but for kids with autism in general.”
So far, 250 children across Canada and the United States are in the program looking to connect with pen pals to build friendships.
The program is available to anyone wanting to find a friend, click here to find out more about Lucas’ Letters.