There's a very simple way to help put a smile on this little boy's face on April 13: send him a birthday card.
Ethan Barton of Lyndhurst, Ont. can't have a birthday party because his autism makes dealing with crowds and noise difficult, explain his parents on the Facebook page "Birthday Cards for Ethan." That's why they've come up with a way to brighten up the seven-year-old's special day in another way.
His parents, Cynthia Tomney and Jim Barton are asking people to mail Ethan a birthday card, with their name and hometown. They're going to present Ethan with all the cards, along with a map marked with the origins of the senders, on his birthday.
So far, Ethan has gotten parcels from countries as far away as Australia, and several from right here in Canada, but they are hoping for many more cards.
This isn't the first time Ethan's parents have reached out on social media for support. They also manage a Facebook page called "Paws for Ethan," through which they are raising money for an autism service dog.
Tomney describes her son as an "energetic, funny, and loving boy" who has dealt with several challenges in his life, while living with autism, anxiety, ADHD, developmental coordination disorder, sensory processing disorder and oppositional defiance disorder. A specially trained service dog would help Ethan cope with anxiety and ease him during meltdowns in social settings.
For now, as Ethan awaits his eighth birthday, his parents are in the process of putting together his birthday surprise.
If you'd like to send Ethan a birthday card, please do so at this address, and check out the family's Facebook page for details.
121 Hicock Rd RR2
Lyndhurst, Ontario, Canada
We can do it, Internet. Let's make this Ethan's best birthday yet!
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