Brave Mom Pens Open Letter to Parent Who Excluded Her Child With Down Syndrome

Mom of 9-year-old with Down Syndrome shares touching open letter
As a parent, all you want is for your child to fit in and feel loved. When Jennifer Kiss-Engele found out her 9-year-old son with Down syndrome wasn't invited to a birthday party, the Canadian mother was hurt and wanted answers. Her open letter to the child's parent, who thought it was okay to invite the entire class -- except for her boy -- is a must-read, and a beautiful reminder that different doesn't mean scary.


Jennifer's open letter on Facebook about her son Sawyer is honest and really drives home how our actions -- and the things we teach our children -- can affect others.

An open letter to the parent that thought it was OK to invite the entire class to their child's birthday except for my...

Posted by Jennifer Kiss-Engele on Thursday, June 23, 2016

We admire this mom's powerful honesty when she writes: "I want you to know that I was also like you. I was scared, uncertain and misinformed about Down Syndrome before having my son."

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Thankfully, this story has a happy ending. As it turns out, the mother of the kid having a birthday read Jennifer's open letter and had a change of heart!


You have to commend this mother for speaking up for her child. It's something many of us as parents would likely think about, but may or may not do, out of fear of rejection or confrontation. As inevitable as it is for kids not to get an invite to events all the time, it's so hard not to feel some kind of way knowing little Sawyer was the only person left off the list. (I would think it wasn't coincidental.) This reality likely hurt this 9-year-old and probably made him question whether something was wrong with him -- which is just so horrible to imagine.

Jennifer's letter really spoke to me, the actions I take, and the things I wish to teach my two boys about life.

As Mom says in her open letter:

I know it can be difficult to teach our children about something we may not understand ourselves. I struggle with this as well. But this is a great opportunity and life lesson to have with your child. They will remember the time that their parent said to them, it’s not OK to leave someone out because of their disability, race, or gender.

(So true, Jennifer, so true.)

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Whether or not you're okay your child's inviting the entire school class to his or her birthday party is up to you. (My wallet might thank me for not doing so.) I just hope this letter challenges all of us who are parents to make sure our intentions come from a place of love, instead of fear of the unknown.

Thanks so much for sharing this, Jennifer!




Image via Jennifer Kiss-Engele/Facebook

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