The Simple Way a UPS Driver Made the Day of a Boy With Autism


The first time Patrick met Mike the UPS delivery man, the then 6-year-old greeted him with an almost deafening, “What’s your name?”

Patrick, who has autism spectrum disorder, had just learned that individuals each have their own names; it was therefore important he ask everyone that question.

“Often it would catch people off guard, scare them away or sometimes illicit a negative response,” Patrick’s mom, Amy Boyne, told The Mighty in an email. “People just didn’t want him to know [their name] sometimes.”

Mike did.

ups delivery man handing package to young boy

He told Patrick his name and then patiently waited while he dumped a bag of alphabet letters to find an “M” for Mike. That was a year ago. The two have been friends ever since.

“Mike treats Patrick with the same respect and dignity we should treat all people with,” Boyne told The Mighty. “He sees Patrick, not autism.”

Patrick now holds Mike in the same light as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

“These simple gestures are the types of things I don’t experience often enough when we’re out in the community,” Boyne said. “We need more Mikes in the world for sure.”

Want to end the stigma around disabilityLike us on Facebook.

And sign up for what we hope will be your favorite thing to read at night.

TOPICS
,
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

woman sitting outside on a bench with her brother

The Important Lessons My Brother With Autism Taught Me

Dear Autism, You took away my brother’s words. You took away his eye contact. You introduced yourself in a rapid fashion. The babbling, the lack of eye contact, repetitive behaviors, and the lack of social awareness became my brother. These symptoms didn’t only consume his life, it consumed mine as well. We wanted to get [...]

Dear Mama of a Nonverbal Child

I just wanted to sit beside you, green-sleeved lattes in hand, and talk. I know talking to me is no substitute for the conversation you long to have; I know you’ve gone years upon years waiting for a voice. I know you’d gladly give up coffee for the rest of your life — or books [...]

Why I'll Never Stop Trying to Understand Autism

Dear Autism, I’ve been trying to find the words to write this letter to you for a long time. I’ll be honest — I’ve struggled. You’ve been a puzzle to me (no pun intended). When my son, Drake, was just under a year old, I searched you out. I read about your poor eye contact, [...]

Why I Don’t Think Autism Is a Gift or a Problem

As Autism Awareness Month is coming up, I’ve been thinking about what the diagnosis means to our family. Our official diagnosis anniversary will be a year in May. I’ve seen a lot of debate about whether autism is a gift or not. Some people think it is, and probably a larger portion feel adamantly that [...]