A school teacher in Mexico captured an endearing moment described on social media as “pure empathy” when a young student with Down Syndrome comforted his distressed classmate who has autism. It immediately went viral, and within a few days had over 20 million views. Friendship is really a wonderful thing, and being shared by two special kids is truly heartwarming. The video shows the little boy with Down Syndrome approach his visibly distressed classmate and genuinely tries to comfort his friend by hugging him, patting him on the back (as if to say “it’s okay”), and therapeutically raising his arms to help him.
The video was posted on the Facebook page Jalisco oculto, which is dedicated to sharing location stories and information from in and around Jalisco, Mexico. It claims to be a page for people tired of bad governments. Interest in the video increased that it was shared to additional social media platforms including Twitter. Aside from the 20 million views the video got on Facebook, it also gathered 5.9 million views on Twitter. Twitter user StanceGrounded had this to say in a follow-up tweet: “ This child reminds us that Love is instinct and Love is innate and that Hate is taught. The lack of love and empathy is the root of our problems. We need Love & Empathy in this world.”
Several social media users were quick to share their stories about friends and relatives with Down Syndrome or autism. The video really is inspiring, and brings out the love and empathy in us. Many expressed how it touched their hearts and gave them hope. Studies have shown that the prevalence of Down Syndrome at birth increased 31.1% from 1979 through 2003. One in 59 children in the US are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. There are no reliable estimates for children with autism or Down Syndrome in Mexico.