Mom allows daughter not to invite autistic classmate to birthday party
The set, “not getting invited to the birthday” is a classic portrayal of that childhood struggle for social acceptance, right there with “being picked last for dodgeball” and “not finding a seat at a lunch table”.
According to a Reddit post on r/AmITheAssholea mother seeks to make this trope a reality for a child.
A woman told her daughter that it was okay not to invite a non-verbal autistic child.
User u/SufficientPractice posted a message on the subreddit asking fellow Redditors if she was right about the decision she made after some of her colleagues told her she was wrong.
The woman explained that her daughter was in second grade and that she was going to have a birthday party in a swimming pool with all her classmates.
She says she first gave her daughter a choice of children to invite: “Now I told my daughter she could either invite all the girls or the whole class. I don’t let her invite specific people and isolate anyone.
It’s the right thing to do to make sure no child feels left out and very admirable, but the woman’s next decision calls that value into question…
The girl asked if she could invite everyone to her class except the non-verbal autistic boy.
Now, it’s not really fair to look back at other people’s decisions in hindsight and say you would have done something differently but, frankly, what the mother did next is pretty much unforgivable.
From the same mother, who wrote, “I don’t let her invite specific people over and isolate anyone,” comes a full 180 when, in response to her daughter wanting to isolate someone, she says, “I talked to my husband about it and we ended up deciding that she didn’t have to invite him over.
The hypocrisy doesn’t really cover him, and the decision didn’t prove popular in conversations with his colleagues, prompting the creation of the post.
The woman tried to justify her decision by saying that the boy was not in her daughter’s class for half the day and that the boy “really doesn’t know anyone, and it might be difficult for him to be at pool party”. and that “I have no experience dealing with children with special needs, and I wasn’t sure if he would need special help or even his mother or a babysitter all the time.”
So rather than make an effort or talk to the child’s parent or anything, the woman decided he couldn’t completely stop.
Commentators were not in favor of the decision.
Redditors made their disapproval clear in the comments section, declaring “YTA” (“You’re The Asshole”) for his decision.
A commenter who received multiple Reddit awards and 16,000 upvotes for his post wrote, “You are definitely teaching your daughter that it is okay to exclude different people. It’s not up to you whether he can handle the party or not.”
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“He absolutely must receive an invitation and his parents/guardians can decide if he is able to attend.”
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Dan O’Reilly is a writer who covers current affairs, politics and social justice. Follow him on Twitter.