Autistic Teen Bullied and Beaten by Peers — So a Group of Strangers Gave Him a “Dream Day” He’d Never Forget
Thanks to the help of a CBS News correspondent and the power of social media, Carson’s nightmare ended in a dream come true.
Thirteen-year-old Texas teenager Carson Thomson is known for being gentle and kind.
If there’s a bee in the pool, he’s the kid who’ll go and scoop it out,” his mother, Abbie Hershey, told CBS News. “If there’s a spider, he goes and gets a cup and a paper plate and lets it out. He wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
But that didn’t stop others from hurting him.
In a horrifying incident of bullying, Carson, who has autism, suffered a broken wrist when two of his peers followed him off the school bus and pushed him to the ground — all because a piece of bubble gum popped on his face.
Bullies Leave Carson with a Broken Wrist…And Heart
It all started on the bus ride home from his Humble ISD school.
“I blew a bubble and had gum on my face. They were making fun of that a little. They weren’t doing anything that was affecting me. I just ignored them,” Carson told KHOU 11.
However, things escalated when the boys exited the bus. The bullies continued to taunt and harass Carson and became physical. One boy slapped Carson, and the other one knocked him to the ground, breaking his wrist in two places.
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His family took him to a hospital and contacted the authorities. Police arrested the bully and charged him with “injury to a disabled person.”
The event prompted the school district to take its own action against bullying. It set up a bullying page on its website, outlining its stance and providing resources for parents and students, including a complaint form for victims.
Next Level Kindness Makes Bullied Teen’s Dream Come True
The story doesn’t end there, however. When CBS News correspondent David Begnaud heard about what happened, he knew he had to do something to restore Carson’s faith in humanity.
He reached out to the bullied teen’s mom. He asked her, “What is the one thing that would just set his soul on fire?” The answer? Meeting a video game designer.
Turns out that Carson is just like every other typical teenage boy. He loves video games and aspires to become a designer one day.
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Begnaud took to Twitter with a plea…: “I’m looking to find someone in the Houston area who is a video game developer/designer. I’m trying to find this person to help me surprise & make feel good an autistic teenager who was bullied & beaten by his peers. The victim would LOVE to meet someone who designs video games.”
He didn’t have to wait long for a response. Within 48 hours, Carson was living his dream. All thanks to Phillip Morales, a video game designer with Six Foot Studios in Houston, TX, and the father of a child with autism.
Video Game Design Company Surprises Bullied Teen
The team at Six Foot Studios welcomed the middle-school boy with open arms, taking him on a behind-the-scenes tour of their operation. Carson learned how video games are made first-hand; from the initial sketches and storyboards right to the finished product. He even had the chance to play with the design software.
And while he walked away with the newfound knowledge of how to design his own video game, it’s not all he was left with.
Not only did he get a glimpse into the inner workings of video games but he also got a glimpse into humanity at its finest. And the act of kindness and the outpouring of support gave him inspiration and hope for his future.
“Today was awesome. I’m pretty inspired. I think that I am going to make the best game ever created,” Carson told Begnaud.
The fact that strangers were able to come together and turn what was a horrific nightmare for a child into something good is a testament to the power of kindness.
A power that, when wielded, has the amazing ability to heal what was otherwise broken.