The internet swarmed to wish a 22-year-old a happy birthday after her mom reached out on Twitter to ask for birthday wishes.
On Sunday, Twitter user @boonbags . tweeted Viral message now He said, “Hi everyone, I’m not asking for much but can you wish my daughter a happy 22nd birthday please, she would be very happy because she has an Asperger’s family and doesn’t have any real friends that saddens me to say. Thank you very much, Mum Emily XX”
The demand captured hearts around the world, with the tweet garnering more than 63,000 likes and thousands of retweets and responses. Soon after the tweet, the phrase “Happy birthday Emily” was in vogue in the UK, with more than 22,000 tweets using the phrase.
Thousands of Twitter users have flooded timelines with Emily’s birthday wishes, and many have also shared photos of pets and animals.
One user said, “Happy Birthday Emily. I hope that turning 22 is a great thing.” Another wrote: “Happy Birthday Emily. My 19-year-old son is a custodian and truly one of the coolest people I know. Wait there. There is a world full of people who need to know who you are and what you can do!”
Asperger syndrome, or Asperger syndrome, is a previously used diagnosis that became part of the comprehensive diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in 2013. Asperger syndrome generally includes difficulty with social interactions, restricted interests, and desire for routine and characteristic strengths including marked focus, Ability to recognize patterns and attention to detail.
In a 1943 research paper, scientist Leo Kanner, who was one of the first people to clearly define autism, described the condition as being governed by a “strong desire for unity and symmetry,” and over the years after many doctors and scientists assumed that autism had no friends and no care. With friendships.
But several recent studies have disproved this notion and forced a rethink – proving that people with autism can form friendships with their autistic and neurotypical peers.
Felicity Sedgwick Ph.D. She is a lecturer in Education Psychology at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. She has a special interest in the life experiences of people with autism, including their friendships, relationships, and mental health. I told NEWSWEEK: “We know that individuals with autism can form real friendships and relationships. They are as likely to be as emotionally close and supportive as those with a neurotypical pattern, to be long lasting, and to be a valuable aspect of autistic people’s lives.”
“In terms of friendships for people with autism, we know that both boys and girls with autism tend to have smaller friendship groups than their non-autistic peers, but that their best friendships are very similar to those of non-autistic children.”
One Twitter user reached out to Emily and said, “Hi Emily! I’m Ed, I’m 21 and have an Asperger too. I know life can be tough sometimes, but you’re doing really well and as a fellow autistic I’m so proud of you. I hope you’re Have the best birthday ever. Sending you big hugs and love you on your very special day.”
Sedgewick explained: “Autistic children and youth do similar things with their friends as non-autistic children and youth – playing video games, chatting, sharing hobbies – and these activities help build and maintain their friendships in the same way. They don’t always do it in the ways that others expect, but these activities do not. They are still meaningful and important, and they should not be ignored.”
Unfortunately, studies show that children on the autism spectrum are three times more likely than their neurotypical peers to be targets of bullying or physical or sexual abuse. Sedgewick explains that this can also have a major impact on relationships: “This can mean that a lot of people with autism have had negative experiences with their peers, are picked up for their authentic autistic responses or just because they are ‘different’ in the ways that the people around them are. they do not understand “.
In a later update, Emily’s mother responded to the huge response the tweet received: “I can’t thank you all enough for wishing Emily a happy birthday, you all put an enormous smile on her face, thank you all, thank you very much all.”
One of Emily’s many birthday wishes was from another autistic woman who wrote, “I’m autistic and very nice to everyone but people don’t treat me like a friend and that makes me sad. If I knew her I’d give her a happy birthday hug.”
Despite the potential difficulties in building very important relationships, the importance of the online world to people like Emily cannot be underestimated. “The online world allows people with autism to find others around the world who understand them or who share their interests, and the written medium of communication is generally easier for people with autism because it provides longer processing time than spoken conversation,” Sedgewick said.
“Online friendships can, and often are, as emotionally close and important to people as offline friendships.”
NEWSWEEK I reached out to boonbags for comment.