Mom Invites Son's Entire Class to Birthday Party -- But Intentionally Excludes 1 Boy With Autism

Hoby Finn/Getty

Child's birthday party
Hoby Finn/Getty

A mom who wanted her boy to have the "perfect" celebration is getting called out online after she admitted that she didn't want to invite a boy with autism to her son's 10th birthday party and excluded only him out of the entire class. The mom said she had her reasons for not sending the boy an invite, but plenty of people on Reddit are blasting her for being unnecessarily callous to both the boy and his mother.

  • In her anonymous Reddit post, the mom wrote that her son's school placed a boy (she uses the name David) in his class to teach students about inclusion.

    "From what I know about him and his mother they are just doing their best," she explained. But it's David's past behavior that gave the mom pause.

    "Last year, through friends, I had heard that David had a meltdown at another party he was invited to," she wrote. "I don't know if I believe it, but parents who were there say that it was because he wanted to open presents like the birthday boy and when told no, [he] freaked out." 

    The poster added that she was worried about "logistical problems" too, because the party would be in a loud arcade. "So in the end," she continued, "I decided to not invite David."

    She didn't try to keep this decision quiet. "We got invitations ready 2 weeks in advance and I had my son pass them out Friday," she wrote. So everyone in class got handed an invitation that day, except for David.

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  • Naturally, word got back to David's mom -- and she was furious. 

    In fact, David's mom contacted the poster to call her out and ask why she'd excluded her child. 

    "She told me that I am awful for excluding her son and that I'm teaching my son to discriminate," the mom wrote. "When I brought up the logistics and the past incident she told me that I'm an [expletive] for assuming what her son can and can't do before hanging up."

    And that's not all.

    "I woke up this morning to a passive aggressive post by her and many other parents are siding with her," the mom continued. "I just want my son to have a good party and didn't mean anything by this."

    She's still wondering: Is that so wrong?

  • According to a lot of people on Reddit, the answer to that one is clear: yes.

    "You could have spoken to his parents beforehand about the environment and potential ways to mitigate that," one person wrote. "You could have spoken to your son's teacher to see if s/he has advice for how David is in group situations.

    "You don't even know how his behavior may have improved over the past year specifically because of being included socially," the person continued. "This would have been a good chance to teach your son to include people, and instead you taught him it's okay to exclude someone if their disability makes your fun time slightly more difficult."

    A second person wrote this: "A meltdown at one party doesn't automatically mean he will melt down at ALL parties. You didn't even TRY to find a way to include him. This post made me super sad and angry."

    One mom whose son has autism also jumped in on the convo.

    "This happened to my son A LOT when he was younger. It's hurtful to deliberately exclude with no warning. For anything my son was invited to I would either go and stay with him, leaving early if needs be, or if I checked out the venue in advance and thought it wouldn't be practical I would decline the invite but say thank you. Excluding on the basis of a disability isn't something to teach your child. You could have discussed it with his teachers first if nothing else."

  • But there were a few people who thought the mom had a right to invite whoever she wanted to her son's party.

    "It's your party and you can decide who you want to be there or not be there," one commenter said. "You don't want a situation where your kids party could potentially be ruined by an emotional outburst by this other kid."

    "It baffles me how far I had to scroll to find this," a second person chimed in. "Original Poster isn't out to win a Best Human of the Year award, which seems to be the requisite in the thread to get something other than a YTA. She's just trying to ensure her kid has a good birthday party. She can totally correct me, but I assume she would also not invite a kid who picks on her kid or one who isn't neurotypical who has a history of meltdowns. She isn't excluding David because he has autism; she's excluding him based on past behavior. Paying money for her kid to have a good birthday party does not carry with it the responsibility to ensure life is fair."

    Plenty of others didn't get what the big deal was either.

    "I understand why people think this is wrong but honestly it’s your son, his party, and your choice," another commenter added. "Life is full of this type of thing, I’m not saying go out of your way to bully somebody but rejection happens."

    If you ask us, it's always better to invite everyone and let David's parents decide if the venue is right for him. After all, teaching her son to be inclusive and more tolerant of others is probably a better gift than having the birthday party of his dreams.