An operating manual for a Teletubbies computer game, or a McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy from 1993, even end credits. These items are more likely to be on a birthday wish list for someone with autism over typical toys or the latest gadget.
“Children and adults with autism can have unique interests and it’s not uncommon for parents to go to great lengths to get their child that gift…no matter how obscure it may be,” explained NAA Executive Director Kelly Vanicek. “The smile you get in return is nothing short of priceless.”
For Dylan Green of Chesterfield, VA, his favorite thing is vacuum cleaners.
According to the Virginia station WTVR, Dylan’s mother, Jodie, sent an email request to the Kirby Company, the Cleveland-based makers of the Kirby vacuum. It was about to be Dylan’s 14th birthday, and Jodie wanted to make it extra special. She wrote to the vacuum company:
“I am reaching out to you in hopes for an answer to an unusual request for my son who is autistic. He has always been obsessed with vacuum cleaners. His favorite is the Kirby. He spends hours every day watching videos on his tablet about different Kirby’s. When he isn’t watching videos about them, he is talking about them. I really would LOVE to get a demo done for him for his birthday. In fact, I am even getting him a cake made that looks like a Kirby vacuum. I am writing to you in hopes that you can get me in touch with a way to get him this demo.”
The company received Jodie’s email and made her son’s birthday dream come true. In addition to sending Dylan a soccer ball, hat and t-shirt with the Kirby logo, Kirby salesman Al Archie traveled from Fredericksburg to Chesterfield to perform a vacuum demonstration at Dylan’s party.
“At the end of the demonstration [he] gave my son a brand new Kirby vacuum,” Jodie Greene said. “There was not a dry eye in the house.”
Jodie said her son has been over the moon ever since his birthday surprise.
“I’m going to have the cleanest carpets in Chesterfield County,” she joked.
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