Trilby Beresford
July 18, 2016 1:49 pm
TV Tokyo/Tumblr

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the latest craze to sweep the planet: Pokémon Go. The game has already taken over many people’s lives, brought fellow Pokémon-lovers together in the name of romance, and even sparked a fitness revolution!

The latest Pokémon Go-related story we’d like to bring to your attention is a tender, heartwarming one involving a young boy named Ralphie, who’s on the autism spectrum.

His mother Lenore recently introduced the game to him, not anticipating that it would encourage Ralphie to dramatically come out of his shell. “[But] after he caught his first one at the bakery, he was shrieking with excitement,” said Lenore in an impassioned Facebook post.

She notes that since he started playing, Ralphie has been interacting with (and even high-fiving) other children, which is quite opposite to his usual behavior. “MY AUTISTIC CHILD IS SOCIALIZING,” Lenore exclaims. She goes on to gush about Ralphie and his personal achievements. “Talking to people. Smiling at people. Verbalizing. Participating in pragmatic speech. With total strangers. Looking up at them. Sometimes even in the eye. Laughing with them. Sharing something in common. This is amazing.”

It’s clear that Pokémon Go has had a tremendously positive effect on Ralphie, to the point where he’s happy to visit the playground outside of his normal routine, and take advice from strangers about where to catch Pokemon monsters. “I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry,” Lenore admits.

It’s the very best kind of love story, because if Pokémon Go has helped Ralphie navigate the world and come out of his shell. Way to go, Ralphie!

You can read the entirety of Lenore’s Facebook post about Ralphie here.

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