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Jul 10, 2016 10:07 PM

Boy diagnosed with Autism, Tourette syndrome gets unforgettable surprise in Merrimack


MERRIMACK - An 11-year-old Merrimack boy got a special birthday surprise, and his mom who said it is something he will never forget.

"It was the best day and playday ever," said Austin Mendrala in a video his mom had on her phone.

Austin Mendrala is diagnosed with both Autism and Tourette syndrome.

"In first grade he started making little noises, just little sounds. Sometimes he would sound like birds or animals and little ticks with his hands or his head," she said.

Having Autism and Turrets syndrome is difficult, especially for a young kid who just wants to be a kid.

"He's lonely, he spends all summer long with no one to play with," she said. "No birthday parties, maybe one a school year."

On Thursday, Delilah Mendrala sent out a message on Facebook asking parents to bring their kids to the Mastricola Elementary school's playground so Austin could make some friends.

"The school playground usually has people but there was nothing it was deserted," said Mendrala. "At some point a car came and it just sat there for a few minutes and then they drove off. Instantly Austin starts to cry because he thought no one was going to show up."

Then suddenly, people started to show up - including members of the Merrimack police and fire departments, who brought their police cruisers, a fire truck and an ambulance the kids could play in.

"He was jumping up and down he was so excited," she said. "He just didn't know what to make of it all, and he was like this is for me, and I'm like, 'Yup.'"

She said Austin now has plenty of play-dates set up for the summer.


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