NYC Mom Launches Facebook Effort to Give Autistic Son "Friends" on His 12th Birthday

By Roseanne Colletti
|  Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014  |  Updated 6:52 AM CDT
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An autistic boy's mom started a Facebook page so he could have

An autistic boy's mom started a Facebook page so he could have "friends" to wish him happy birthday. Roseanne Colletti reports.

A Queens woman who says her autistic son doesn't have any friends started a Facebook page for him so he could receive happy birthday wishes.

Brenda Figueroa said her son, Joshua, turned 12 years old Tuesday.

She said on Facebook that her son, who loves comic books, science-fiction stories and drawing, didn't have any friends, and she was sad about that.

Joshua told NBC 4 New York that he gets nervous when trying to talk to new people.

"When I'm trying to make friends, sometimes the kids ignore me," he said.

His father said other kids often just don't understand how to connect with Joshua.

"They see him one way, but they don't understand his behavior or attitude sometimes in certain situations," he said.

His mother said on Facebook that her role is to see that he is loved "by precious people." So she started the page on Monday.

By Tuesday afternoon, he had dozens of friends and many birthday greetings.

"Happy birthday Joshua and many more," said one.

"Hope you have a wonderful birthday!!!!" said another.

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