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The teenager who made an autistic boy’s Halloween wishes come true

When Satchien Vijayakumaran, who is autistic, had no one to go trick or treating with, Samuel Camelbeke was only too happy to help. Satchien’s mother Kalai Krishnan was amazed at the Orewa teenager’s kindness.

Kalai

I have four children. My oldest boy is 21 and at university. I have two girls who are 16 and 15, and Satchien, who is 13, is my baby. When Satchien started kindy, he was diagnosed with autism – this means it is difficult for him to get along with other kids, and he is also scared of many things.

I remember for Halloween Satchien wanted to go trick or treating like the other kids, to walk around collecting lollies with his sisters, but they were busy with their friends. When two boys came along, they helped us.

Satchien was dressed as Shrek, and I asked if these boys could take him around and they were so patient. Satchien has trouble speaking, but they let him knock on doors and be the first to say, “Trick or treat?”

For almost an hour, these two boys were so kind. When he was running, they made sure he was crossing the road safely and they reminded him to be polite and not ask for too much. They held his hand and shared their lollies. Satchien was not scared at all; he was just a very happy boy.

I was happy, too, because it’s not easy for children to befriend my son. I’ve never had a birthday party for him. We’ve never done anything like that and, even though he’s 13, he’s still just a baby.

It’s very difficult to explain to him why he can’t do the things other children can do. But these boys were so kind and I was very proud of them for having such big, open hearts.

Satchien still talks about them today and this year for Halloween he plans to be a Lego man. He already has his costume, and when he goes trick or treating, he’ll look for those boys again.

Samuel

I’m 14 years old and I’m in Year 9 at Orewa College. My favourite subjects are sport and art, but mainly art. Not last Halloween, but the one before, my dad drove us to the top of the hill in Orewa, so me and my friend Luke could go trick or treating.

When we got to Satchien’s house, his mum asked if it was okay for him to come out with us for a while. And I thought about it – some kids, they wait an entire year for Halloween to come around, and this boy didn’t have anyone to go with, so I said, “Why not”, and we took him trick or treating with us.

I was dressed as a clown and my friend Luke was dressed as a ghost. Satchien was Shrek, and he was really enthusiastic. Because I like helping people, I was just happy to help make Satchien happier than he would’ve been if he’d not gone trick or treating.

I always try to treat other people how I’d want to be treated. There’s not much point ruining someone else’s day or annoying them because it’s just so much easier to make people happy and have a good time.