A group of police officers in Texas made headlines after they went out of their way to help an autistic boy.
According to the Independent Journal Review, Sherry Lynn Hillard’s son, John, has autism and is prone to sudden fits of rage. On July 12, during a particularly intense episode, Hillard decided she needed some help.
The mother called police to help calm her son down without incident. John was reportedly upset because he did not have a shirt resembling that of the host of popular kids’ TV show “Blues Clues.”
Hillard took to Facebook to share details of what happened next:
In the last week I’ve had 6 police officers in my home because my sons meltdowns turned to rage. With so much negativity shown towards law enforcement lately, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show my appreciation for the empathy these officers had for my son. They showed up not knowing much about autism but they listened and learned while they kept us all safe. They also asked [A LOT] of questions so they wouldn’t do the wrong thing. The meltdown today was because John wants to dress like Joe on Blues Clues but I can’t find that same shirt anywhere. After calming him down, the officers went and bought a blue shirt and with Jenn’s fabric markers they attempted to create the shirt John wants. That’s what this pic is, 3 officers going above and beyond to help a severely autistic teenage boy! Sadly, it didn’t work, but the fact that they were willing to do this for my son made them hero’s in my eyes.
Hillard shared a photo with the post showing the three police officers creating a custom shirt for John. The post quickly went viral, with more than 120,000 shares and over 300,000 reactions in just a month.
Hillard eventually followed up on the original post with a picture of her son in a version of the shirt he wanted, which was made and given to him by Texas designer Cutting Edge Designs.
“A HUGE THANK YOU TO CUTTING EDGE DESIGNS!!” she wrote. “He’s finally got his shirt!!!”
A number of social media users shared messages of support for Hillard on her post.
“This entire story broke my heart for this young man and his Mom,” one Facebook user wrote. “Thank you to those who all went above and beyond.”
“I’m so glad he got it,” another user commented. “I had found your page to message you that I could make him one for you!!!!”
“I’m happy your son got his shirt, please tell him he looks awesome in it,” added another commenter. “Thank you for sharing. Your posts are an inspiration to many. Wishing you and your family peace. Hugs.”