Many of us have experienced the worries associated with the first day of school – it’s tough! For individuals on the spectrum these same anxieties are experienced, only intensified. On Kadin Templin’s first day at a new middle school, he experienced an abundance of overwhelming emotions and thankfully, a school resource officer was in the right place at the right time.
On Monday, the Hamblen County Department of Education shared a photo on Facebook of Officer Julio Ortiz comforting and hugging Templin at West View Middle School. The photo was captioned, “Sometimes first days of school are stressful. Thank you for your love and assistance Officer Ortiz.”
Templin’s mother, Christina Swartz, explained to WBIR-TV that her son with autism has had two dozen surgeries in his lifetime and the transition to a new school has not been easy. “This makes me so happy to see an officer taking the time to be there to a child with special needs,” she said. “My son just has had so much negativity… to see something positive for him was incredible!”
Swartz reached out to Ortiz to thank him for his kindness and being there for her son when he needed a shoulder to lean on. Ortiz replied saying he was “so excited and honored to be called his friend.” He wished Templin his thoughts and prayers on his 25th surgery later this month, and to let him know if there was anything else he could do to help.
Officer Ortiz set a wonderful example for everyone who works with children, and is living proof that not all superheroes need capes!