An Autistic Boy and the Charmin Bear: A Love Story
“Autistic children are very particular, very precise in the details that they take in,” Grace Clark tells TODAY Moms. Grace’s son Cash’an was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when he was 2 years old and has weak verbal communication and socialization skills. While the 9-year-old still struggles with interactions and expressing feelings, hislove for the Charmin bear is always front and center.
Cash’an discovered the Charmin bear on a trip to Target when he was 4, says Grace. “This little kid is looking at this big aisle full of toilet paper rolls with a bear, and he started putting all these packages in my cart that I did not want. And then he climbed in the cart and he looked at them,” she said.
Since that moment, Cash’an has begged his mom to watch the commercials on the computer, gets excited whenever they come on the TV, and has even learned to say “Charmin bear!” Grace has made attempts to introduce her son to other bears more suitable for a child, such as the Bear in the Big Blue House, but he’s not interested. Instead of keep pushing, Grace decided to blog about her son’s infatuation, and soon she was noticed by the company, receiving a surprise care package that included a rare stuffed Charmin bear.
“We were touched by his story… and we hoped it would make Cash'an smile,” said Laura Dressman, a spokeswoman for Procter & Gamble.
“We don't normally give away stuffed animal-versions of the bears, but we did happen to have a few on hand. We were all so moved by his affection towards them that we could not think of a better person to send one to.”
We were so touched by this story, and while it is somewhat funny that a boy could have such a loving connection with a toilet tissue mascot, it’s also endearing. If you really think about those commercials, the bear family is everything you hope your son would be: kind, considerate (three sheets is plenty!), eco-friendly, funny, and totally adorable! What’s not to love?