Autistic boy overwhelmed by response on Facebook over birthday request

A Facebook post asking for cards for Brock’s birthday. (WCIV)

Summerville, S.C. (WCIV) — 

Imagine inviting dozens of young kids to your child’s birthday party and not a single one shows up.

That’s what happened last year to one child who used to live right here in the Lowcountry.

But thanks to a simple viral Facebook post, his twelfth birthday will be anything but a bust.

Despite his autism, Brock Ard is like most other young boys and just wants to have fun. He loves hunting and going fishing with his daddy. He’s got a hoverboard for Christmas and has fun riding it all over.

It was anything but fun, however, when last year, no one showed up to Brock’s birthday party.

“It was heartbreaking,” said Mandy Ard, Brock’s mom.

Brock said, “I was sad, and I was just like, nobody’s ever going to show up so let’s just leave.”

With that memory still a little too fresh, Brock decided he wanted something different for this year.

Mandy said Brock came to him one night with a request.

“He came to my one night and he said, since nobody showed up to my party last year, I saw on a Youtube video that somebody asked for nothing but birthday cards, do you think that’s something that I could do?” she said.

Mandy obliged, and after a close friend, Jamie Smith, shared it on a Summerville mom’s Facebook page, the rest is digital history.

“It was 24 hours of absolute chaos. I never expected it to get that big; I thought 20, 30 cards maybe. We’re at thousands now, and it’s only been 48 hours,” Smith said.

Everyone from students in classrooms to motorcycle groups to firefighters have responded to the request.

“The world we live in today, its heartwarming to know that these people are still out there, and that they want to help your son,” said Mandy Ard.

As for Brock himself, he has just one simple message: “I’m just happy for everybody to do this for me. And thank you.”

After getting such a large response, a group of Summerville moms, including Jamie Smith, is holding a party for Brock called “blue for Brock.”

Blue is the official color for Autism awareness month, so many of the volunteers will be wearing blue the day of the party.

It will be held at Gahagan Park in Summerville on April 14 from 3-6 p.m. Everyone is welcome.