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Joshua gets life-size Stickman

CAPTION: Autistic five-year-old Joshua White’s fascination with his his life-size Stickman buddy PHOTO/BECKIE WILSON

By Beckie Wilson

[email protected]

It was an “emotionally humbling” experience as Joshua White’s mum saw his dream come true yesterday.

The five-year-old autistic Masterton boy was given a life size Pak’n’Save Stickman along with a bunch of personalised gear from Foodstuffs, a grocery distributor.

The Times-Age reported recently about Joshua’s fascination with Stickman, after a staff member from the Masterton store printed a personalised Stickman poster for him.

The article triggered the interest of Foodstuffs who wanted to give Joshua something more.

At the store yesterday, Joshua was given presented with a stickman, stickers, posters, a badge and a cap all personalised for him.

On trips to Masterton’s Pak’n’Save with his mother, Natasha Mason, the shopping trip can take twice as long as it normally would. Joshua has to stop at every Stickman poster and say ‘Hi’, give Stickman a wave and even a kiss.

CAPTION: Autistic five-year-old Joshua White’s bond with Pak’n’Save’s Stickman began when he was little, and now he has a life-size Stickman buddy PHOTO/BECKIE WILSON

Once again, this was an example of people taking time out of their busy day to help the family out, Mrs Mason said.

“I think it’s just so cool,” she said.

Joshua was also sent a video with a Stickman voiceover sent especially from Paul Ego – the voice of Stickman.

She had noticed Joshua’s behaviour had been a lot calmer since receiving the poster, Mrs Mason said.

“Now we want to incorporate visuals [including Stickman] into his everyday life like changing his nappies, eating at the table, going to school.”

“I focus our world around Stickman — and I’m sure people think I am crazy but it makes him happy.”

It is the simplicity and the basic colour that seems to calm Joshua when they come to the store or when he sees the advertisements on television, she said.

Foodstuffs general marketing manager Steve Bayliss said his team at Foodstuffs New Zealand loved reading the Times-Age article about how much Joshua loved Stickman.

“We were really touched by the story — the staff at Pak’n’Save Masterton went out of their way to create a poster for Joshua, which was fantastic,” Mr Bayliss said.

Foodstuffs contacted Baseline, the Lower Hutt design company that helps put Pak’n’Save’s Stickman campaigns together.

“We love to hear from people who love Stickman as much as we do — Joshua clearly has a special bond with the character.”



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