According to Autism Society, about 1 percent of the world’s population is on the autism spectrum, and one in 59 births in the U.S. will bring an autistic child into this world.
While some may look at this disorder as a problem or abnormality, those who know and love someone on the spectrum will tell you they are unique personalities who have so much to offer.
Paul Didier is one such unique personality. The Indiana man has autism and finds comfort in some special friends he refers to as his “family.”
“I just love all my stuffed animals that I love,” Didier told WANE. His giant stuffed animals, particularly his stuffed gorillas, like to hang out on his front porch during the warmer months.
“It’s kind of an icon in the community where everybody wakes up in the morning and sees what Paul has done with these gorillas,” Fremont Police Chief Deputy Jordon Trippe told WANE.
Sadly, two of those beloved family members were stolen off Didier’s porch — gorillas named “King Louie” and “Rainbow.”
The Fremont Police Department immediately jumped in to help. They posted some photos on their Facebook page, asking community members to keep an eye out for the lost friends.
“As a small Community we all know who these gorillas belong to…” FPD wrote. “And someone has stolen our family’s gorillas!”
Not only did the community do their part, they went above and beyond to drop off new stuffed animals and send in tips.
Thankfully, “King Louie” was found and returned, but “Rainbow” will not make it home. According to reports, a teen from Michigan is the culprit.
Even so, it looks as if Didier’s prayers were answered in so many ways. “I said to myself, ‘Jesus, help me find my gorillas’ and I was just praying. I was just praying my heart out,” Didier explained. “I was so, so happy that I have a family here that I love.”
“We’ve got two more friends and we heard we might have more friends coming,” Paul’s mom Cynthia Church said. “So, watch out. We’re going to have a zoo in Fremont.”
We’re happy to see he has his stuffed animals by his side, but more than that, our hearts are touched by the love one community showed this man.
If all of our communities could rally around each other in this way, our world would be a much better place indeed.
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