March 7, 2015

Dad's birthday request for son with autism goes viral

(Photo: Taka Yokoyama / WFAA)
Jason Whitely, WFAA11:45 p.m. CST March 5, 2015

McKINNEY – Loneliness is an unspoken symptom of autism.

Hunter Kleis is high-functioning, but he is non-verbal.

"He might not speak. He might not have social skills, but he likes to have fun. He likes to have people around," said Hunter's father, Chad Kleis. "He likes to enjoy things like anybody else."

Still, the 8-year-old does not get invited to sleepovers. There are no birthday parties to go to, either, and classmates have never really come to his birthdays.

"We do things with him," Kleis said, becoming emotional, "and make sure he understands that he's my best friend." MORE >

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