Kristen Braconi brought her son Carter, who has high functioning autism and ADHD, to the South Brunswick skate park on March 26 to celebrate his birthday. They had the park to themselves for about a half hour before a group of middle schoolers showed up. Carter was worried that he would have to leave once the big kids arrived.
“He wasn’t sure if they were going to take over the park or include him, so he was like, ‘Oh no, I guess I’m going to have to leave.’ He doesn’t always do well with large groups of people,” Braconi said. “But these kids came up to him, started being super nice and playing and showing him things.”
She posted a video on social media of the kids paying with her son and singing “Happy Birthday” to him. The video went viral, and major television news networks picked up the story.
The South Brunswick Police Department also promised a party for the “superheroes,” and threw a pizza party for them this Wednesday at Crossroads North Middle School where they go to school. Students recognized included Gavin Mabes, David Lakatos, Aaron Perna, Luis Velazquez, Damon Andon, Jiya Salman, Jessica George, Lauren Mazur, Samantha Schwab and Om Patel.
“Those few minutes in the skate park exemplified what we all hope for in our young people, care and concern,” South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said. “It is sometimes in the smallest of acts that we can make the biggest impact. This party was a great way to recognize these young people.”