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FSU WR Travis Rudolph Sits With Autistic Middle Schooler At Lunch (Video)

FSU WR, Travis Rudolph sits and has lunch with a middle school student, Bo Paske who happens to have autism.

This is such a great story. Unfortunately, in today’s world, a ton of terrible stories come out on a regular basis. FSU WR Travis Rudolph showed us why the world isn’t such a terrible place after all.

The best part of this story is that Rudolph didn’t even know that the student, Bo Paske, had autism. He just saw a kid sitting by himself and took it upon himself to sit down with him.

It’s a small gesture, but it definitely impacted that kids day. To be sitting by himself and then to have a college athlete come sit with him. How cool is that?

The gesture prompted a Facebook post from Bo’s mother to Rudolph:

Several times lately I have tried to remember my time in middle school, did I like all my teachers, do I even remember them? Did I have many friends? Did I sit with anyone at lunch? Just how mean were kids really? I remember one kid on the bus called me “Tammy Fay Baker” bc I started awkwardly wearing eye liner in the sixth grade, I remember being tough and calling him a silly name back, but when he couldn’t see me anymore I cried. I do remember middle school being scary, and hard. Now that I have a child starting middle school, I have feelings of anxiety for him, and they can be overwhelming if I let them. Sometimes I’m grateful for his autism. That may sound like a terrible thing to say, but in some ways I think, I hope, it shields him. He doesn’t seem to notice when people stare at him when he flaps his hands. He doesn’t seem to notice that he doesn’t get invited to birthday parties anymore. And he doesn’t seem to mind if he eats lunch alone. It’s one of my daily questions for him. Was there a time today you felt sad? Who did you eat lunch with today? Sometimes the answer is a classmate, but most days it’s nobody. Those are the days I feel sad for him, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He is a super sweet child, who always has a smile and hug for everyone he meets.

A friend of mine sent this beautiful picture to me today and when I saw it with the caption “Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son” I replied “who is that?” He said “FSU football player”, then I had tears streaming down my face. Travis Rudolph, a wide receiver at Florida State, and several other FSU players visited my sons school today. I’m not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I’m happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten. This is one day I didn’t have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes. Travis Rudolph thank you so much, you made this momma exceedingly happy, and have made us fans for life! #travisrudolph #gonoles #autismmom #fansforlife

After reading the mother’s message, Rudolph had this to say:

It’s tough to see someone sitting by themselves at a lunch table. We’ve all been there. Middle School sucks, there’s a lot of bullying that goes on but hopefully this helped Bo. Maybe next time at lunch he won’t be sitting alone.

Once again kudos to Travis Rudolph for doing the right thing. The world could use a lot more people like Travis.

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I'm a Jets, Islanders and Mets fan from Long Island. I'm the General Manager of my college radio station WFTU Riverhead where I also do a sports talk show called "This Week In Sports". In addition to ESNY I'm a co-editor of EyesOnIsles.com. "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take -Wayne Gretzky" -Michael Scott