April Crites didn’t get much sleep the night before her son, Conner, who has autism, started second grade.
“Conner’s comfort zone is his bedroom,” the mom from Wichita, Kansas, told TODAY Parents. “I knew the first day back would be overwhelming for him and that made me nervous."
Though Crites predicted the 8-year-old would experience sensory overload, she never imagined what would happen next.
It’s a story that has gone viral on Facebook with more than 23,000 shares.
Fellow second-grader Christian Moore was headed to class, when he noticed Conner crying in a corner outside. Crites says Conner's aid had stepped away for a moment and he was having trouble managing his emotions.
Luckily, Christian knew exactly what to do.
“He went to console him, grabbed his hand and walked him inside of the school,” Courtney Moore wrote.
The sweet moment, which Courtney Moore captured on camera, has left many in tears.
“I started crying when I saw the picture. I couldn't believe it,” Crites said. “The fact that Christian was able to be there and comfort Conner with a simple gesture, was just awesome. I'm not even able to do that!"
Conner and Christian have since become recess buddies — and recently had a play date. Both love Legos and the video game Minecraft.
“Christian is Conner’s first real friend. I’m so excited we have someone to invite for a birthday party,” Crites told TODAY Parents.
Crites admitted she still worries about kids picking on Conner for his differences. “He flaps his hands and can be difficult to understand,” she said. “But knowing Conner has Christian now, makes me feel so much better. It alleviates some of the anxiety."