Little boy holds hand of classmate with autism who’s crying on first day of school

The first day of school can be intimidating for kids. And Connor Crites, an 8-year-old boy living with autism, was particularly anxious about the new school year.

Crites was starting second grade at Minneha Elementary School in Wichita, Kansas and, on the big day, he found himself crying in a corner. But then a fellow classmate lent a helping hand — literally.

Christian Moore approached Crites and grasped his hand to help him feel more at ease. Moore’s mom, Courtney, snapped a photo of the sweet moment and posted it to Facebook, where it quickly went viral:

“I’m so proud of my son, he seen a kid balled up into a corner crying, so he went to console him, grabbed his hand walked him inside of the school!” she wrote in the caption. “It is an honor to raise such a loving, compassionate child! He’s a kid with a big heart, the first day of school started off right.”

What a kind gesture! Connor’s mom, April Crites, was so grateful her son found a friend.

“Tell your son I said thank you so very much!” she wrote in the comments. “That little boy he helped is my son and is autistic. I worry everyday that he is going to get bullied for being different and your son just absolutely warmed my heart. If there were more children like him I wouldn’t worry about such things.”

For his part, Connor also expressed gratitude for the simple yet powerful act of kindness.

“He was kind to me,” he told KAKE. “It was in the first day of school and I started crying, and then he helped me and I was happy.”

The two moms have since started a Facebook page to advocate against bullying, violence and racism. Dubbed Christian & Connor Bridging The Gap, their goal is to “bring peace & unity through our campaign, to shed positive light through acts of kindness and love.”

We love that such a big-hearted campaign grew out of such a small, sweet moment between kids.