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Published: Fri, April 28, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Parents recreate closed Blockbuster store for autistic son

Parents recreate closed Blockbuster store for autistic son

Say what you will about the merits of Netflix, but there was just something so magical about Blockbuster as a kid. "It was one of those moments that us parents live for".

When an autistic Texas man's favorite video store went out of business, his parents surprised him by bringing part of it home. But his parents weren't about to let him get his heart completely broken over the store's closing.

"My autistic brother was sad that Blockbuster was closing so my parents made a mini one at home for him", Zuniga tweeted.

Javier Zuniga's tweet has been retweeted tens of thousands of times, and he says it's been a way to connect with others dealing with a family member with autism.

Hector Zuniga is nonverbal, but it's obvious that he was thrilled, as he's seen in the pictures his brother posted of him smiling and clapping his hands.

"He's all heat. He's very tender, but like anyone else, he has bad days".

Though we don't know his location, Twitter user Javi still had a local Blockbuster - up until 23 April, that is. "We just did what we felt was necessary", Zuniga Sr. said.

His family gave him the surprise of a lifetime when they set up his very own "in-house" Blockbuster after learning their local store would close soon. In fact, one of the few times that Hector ever spoke was when they would drive by Blockbuster, and he would point to it and utter a single word: "Barney".

After showing his son the rack stocked full of some of his favourite DVDs, Hector Sr said his son even went up to touch them as if he was "checking to see if they were real".

At first, you could see his eyes getting bigger and bigger, he was pointing at it nearly as if he couldn't believe what he was seeing.

As parents of children with autism know, change is hard on them, so the gift was especially important.

"Those employees really came out to bat for my son", Zuniga's father told the Huffington Post. "So he came up to me and grabbed my ear".

Truly, a magical ending, brought to you by Blockbuster - and one incredible family, of course.

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