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2nd grader befriends classmate with autism on 1st day of school: 'He found me and held my hand'

Posted at 8:55 AM, Aug 27, 2019

KANSAS — The first day of school can be overwhelming for any child: parents taking pictures and calming jitters, teachers desperately trying to corral anxious, excited children and then there's just the overall noise of it all.

Connor Crites, 8, a rising second grader who has autism, was having a particularly emotional back-to-school day at Minneha Elementary in Wichita, Kansas, on Aug. 14.

Then, fellow rising second grader Christian Moore, 8, entered the picture.

"He was kind to me," Connor told ABC's Wichita affiliate KAKE-TV . "I started crying and then he helped me. And, I was happy. … He found me and held my hand and I got happy tears."

Christian's mother, Courtney Moore, described the interaction.

"I seen him on the ground with Connor as Connor was crying in the corner and he was consoling him," Moore told the station. "And, he grabs his hand and walked him to the front door and he waited until the bell rang and he walked him inside the school and the rest was history."

April Crites, Connor's mother, told ABC News on Monday that the simple act had made him so happy.

"That's all I can ask for, is someone to be open to him like that," she said. "I'm so happy that something so positive is coming from all this, that my son got a friend. And, hopefully a friend for life."

The friendship has also eased some of the worries Crites has had about Connor, who was nonverbal until he was 5.

"I fear every day that someone's going to laugh at him because he doesn't speak correctly or laugh at him because he doesn't sit still or because he, you know, jumps up and down and flaps his hands," she said.

The boys now have an "inseparable bond," Moore said in the KAKE-TV interview alongside Crites.

"It doesn't matter, you know, color. It doesn't matter, gender. It doesn't matter, disability," Crites said. "Just be kind. Open your heart. And, that’s what we need in this world."

"One act of kindness, you know, can change someone’s life," Moore said.