Community rallies around bullied special needs child

Invited to play baseball

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - We first introduced you to ten-year-old Benson last week when his neighbor was arrested by Boca Raton police after his mom alleges the Down syndrome, autistic child was severely bullied.

After the story aired, many people reached out to WPTV to help Benson, including the founder of the Miracle League of Delray Beach.

"I saw the story on Facebook and it was just so sad," Julia Kadel said.

Kadel started the Miracle League in Delray Beach with her husband. The baseball league is for children with special needs.

Kadel gave Benson a free lifetime membership to the league and he had his first game on Saturday.

"I don't think he realizes the bat is to hit a baseball and not to hit him," Benson's mother Daniele Watanabe said.

It took a little while for Benson to get used to the bat because his mom says a neighbor once hit him with a bat.

But in no time he was having a ball.

"To see a child with special needs.. .they already go through so much in their lives. But to be unhappy and bullied and not accepted, it is so wrong and unfair," Kadel said.

By the end of the game, Benson loved it... hitting the ball and running to the bases.

"I think he is seeing that there is no one hitting him or being mean here. Everybody is talking to him and making him comfortable," Benson's mom Daniele said.

At the end of the game, the team shouted "Benson, Benson."

"I still have tears in my eyes and the hairs on my arm are standing... it was amazing," Kadel said.

Benson's mom says she will take him back to play again next Saturday and hopes it will help him realize that not all children his age are bullies.


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