(CBS) A suburban girl with autism got a big thrill recently when she went to a Chicago Wolves hockey game.
Her excitement wasn’t for the game itself, but the officials who were calling it.
Nicole, 11, has a fascination with referees.
“That’s how the autistic mind words — it takes a topic and just saturates it,” the girl’s mother, Linda Augustyniak, tells CBS 2’s Sandra Torres.
Nicole got to meet the four referees officiating the game between the Wolves and the Texas Stars. She even got to go on the ice for a special picture with her heroes.
The moment hit home for official Chris Schlenker.
“I have a 7-year-old with autism as well,” he says. “It’s moments like that make this part of the job pretty special.”
“I’m going to remember this forever,” Nicole says.
She even got a new referee jersey signed by all the officials. That will come in handy because every Friday has turned into “referee shirt day” for her.