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Parents build Blockbuster store at home for autistic son after local branch closes down

They wanted to help their son cope with his emotional attachment to the place after it closed down.

Parents build Blockbuster store at home for autistic son after local branch closes down
Image Source: Twitter/jxviizun

Parents make sacrifices and great compromises for the happiness of their children. They will pretty much do anything to just see a smile on their child's face. To avoid their son getting distraught over their neighborhood Blockbuster video store shutting down, a couple constructed their own mini-store inside their house, reports The Independent. Javier Zuniga, 19, posted images of his parents surprising his brother Hector Andres Zuniga with their new in-home Blockbuster store on Twitter. Hector Andres lives with his family in south Texas. 


Zuniga wrote, "My autistic brother was sad that Blockbuster was closing down, so my parents made a mini one at home for him." Speaking to KDVR, he shared that his elder brother—who is nonverbal—was smiling, applauding, and laughing with delight when he saw the mini-store stocked with his favorite movies. His father, also named Hector, told Huffington Post that he and his wife had been taking their son to the Blockbuster since he was 13 years old. Rosa, Hector Andres' mother, received devastating news in 2017. While she and Hector Andres were visiting the Blockbuster store, an employee approached her and informed her that the store would be shut down.

She immediately called her husband and they set about finding a solution. His father said, "He's all heart, he's very tender, but like anyone else, he has bad days. And we knew one of those bad days was around the corner when we found out that Blockbuster was about to close. The employees told us when they'd start selling their stock, and when they did, I was one of the first customers in the store."


Zuniga stated that the staff at Blockbuster understood how important the business was to Hector Andres and assisted in putting specific goods aside for him to purchase as the store's inventory began to sell. The father took his son to Blockbuster on the day it closed to ensure he understood it was closing for good, but promised him a surprise at home to help him cope with the business closing. When the family returned home, they gave Hector Andres a puzzle to play with while he absorbed what had just transpired. Hector Andres's father and brother moved into a spare room and set up their own Blockbuster business while he was occupied. He said, "It's hard for my son to express emotions but when he saw the room [at home], his eyes were as big as saucers."


He added, "His way of saying 'I love you,' is by going up to you and grabbing your earlobe. It was one of those moments that us parents live for." Zuniga's tweet went viral gathering over 106k likes and over 26k retweets. Several Twitter users commented and appreciated the father's efforts to make his son happy. A user wrote, "From one autism family to another. I love your family!!!!" Another added, "Please tell your parents how incredible they are, and thank you so much for documenting this beautiful moment." 

A third Twitter user commented, "Your brother reminds me so much of mine! He has stacks and stacks of videos, our blockbuster closed down close to a decade ago this is great." 

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