My son Brock was diagnosed in 2014 with Autism-SPD-impulsivity control issues. He has severe anxiety which makes it difficult to communicate with strangers. This past school year, he has overcame so many challenges, however this left him exhausted and angry at the start of the summer.

But everything changed when we go to meet a few officers from the police department.

The first time I saw him truly smile was when I made a stop at the Osceola Police Station and one of the officers stopped to show him around the station while I was taking care of a past parking ticket. He answered all of his questions with a patience that is hard to come by anymore, even ones as silly as “Why do cops have refrigerators?” He spent almost 20 minutes answering my sons repetitive questions, all with a smile. When we left that day, my son told the officer he was his hero, and it really reinforced his dream of becoming an officer as an adult.Michael de Groot familyphoto Bill Nye

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What he really wanted was to get his picture taken with an officer so he could hang it on his wall. About three weeks later, there was an officer responding to a call in my neighborhood, and Brock waited patiently for about an hour until the officer was done.

cop-k9-autism-boy-submittedHe worked through his nerves and started approaching the officer. His anxiety got the best of him a few times, but he finally got up the courage and kept saying “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! I’m really doing this, Mom!”

And he did!

He asked the officer and was able to get a picture with Officer Morgel and his K9 Officer Riko as well. The officer was incredibly patient, and truly listened to my son which doesn’t happen very often (he tends to get brushed off by people sometimes.) He made my child feel special, and Brock has smiled more in the last few days then I’ve seen in a very long time.

Sometimes the smallest things can make a huge difference in our children’s lives. I’m incredibly grateful to these Wisconsin officers for taking time out of their busy schedules (while on duty) to put a smile on a boy’s face.

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