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Christmas came early for a Singapore couple and their five-year-old autistic son — their meal at a local cafe was paid for by strangers who left a heartwarming message of support.
On Sunday, the family was having dinner with a friend at PS Cafe at Palais Renaissance when they were informed by the staff that a couple had paid for their meal, and left a message on a serviette.
The message said: “Special children are born to special people. Have a nice day."
The story unfolded yesterday, when the boy's mother wrote to popular blogger mrbrown to thank the couple who paid for their dinner.
mrbrown, also known by his real name as Lee Kin Mun, has a 12-year-old daughter with autism whom he has written about.
A similar incident, which went viral, took place in US in September.
Lee told Yahoo Singapore that he was “very touched by the story because a simple act of random kindness like that really means a lot to us parents of special needs kids”.
He added that people are often “staring and judging our kids when they don’t behave in a ‘normal’ way in public, but once in a while, you get a kind smile or kind act from a stranger who doesn't treat your kid like he or she is some kind of freak, and that is a welcome thing”.
His family has never had a meal paid for in this fashion, but “we've encountered other countless moments of kindness”, he said, giving the example of people who give up their bus or train seats when they see someone with a special needs child.
However, some readers of mrbrown's blog post have speculated that it could be a marketing ploy.
For example, a reader who commented under the alias ‘Joe’ on Lee’s blog said: “This is clearly a marketing ploy by PS Cafe...”.
However, another reader 'H' said: "Marketing ploy or not, this story touches my deepest emotions.".
Comments are largely positive, lauding the story as "heartwarming" and "touching".
When asked, Lee said he had checked with the family and that he believes the story is “legit”.
“If I didn't think it was true, I wouldn't have published it. Besides, no sane parent would allow their special needs kid to be used for a marketing stunt. The mother of the child said it best when she told me, 'I wouldn't joke about my son.' ”, he added.
Yahoo Singapore has approached PS Cafe for their comments.