Recently, after picking his kids up from school, a father decided to stop by a park with his kiddos, in order to enjoy the weather.
Usually, his sons run around the park while his little girl, who has autism, wanders around on her own, exploring whatever catches her eye.
"It was a beautiful sunny day in Western N.Y. yesterday, so I decided to take the kids to the playground after school," he wrote on an anonymous Reddit post.
He continued: "Usually, my daughter wanders around the playground by herself playing on whatever catches her interest, while the boys go be boys. I make sure they stay close enough that I can see them, and it's a school playground so there's teachers out there for an after-school program."
The father continued to explain what happened next, stating that his day in the park was different, because his daughter willingly interacted with another children.
"Yesterday was a little different. A little girl walked up and asked if she could play with my daughter. Normally, Arwen ignores people she doesn't know. I told her that Arwen had autism and she might play, but she might not. I told the girl that she doesn't talk, and that if she didn't want to play it wasn't the girls fault. 'its not that she doesn't like you, she just isn't comfortable with new people'".
The father went on to explain that her was surprised by his daughter's reaction: "I expected her to ignore the girl. Instead they played on the climbing wall and the slides (Arwen's favourite) for about twenty minutes.
Arwen followed her to different playground equipment, and when she went down first she looked back to make sure the girl was coming."
And while to most parents, this may not seem like a big deal, but for little Aren - this was a major step in her behavioural development.
"This won't seem like a big deal to most people. You have to understand that Arwen is twelve years old, and this is the first time she has ever interacted with a child that she doesn't see every day. She even ignores most of her classmates. This was a huge deal for her."
The proud father then informed reader about what happened when it was time to leave the park, which shocked him completely:
"When it was time to go, I asked Arwen if she wanted to say goodbye. What happened next had me, the teacher, and Arwen's mom tearing up. Arwen hugged her. That never happens....she doesn't even initiate hugs with people she knows."
He then closed the post with a message to Ava's parents, who he did not actually meet: "You are an AWESOME parent."
What a heartwarming story!