Reddit Users Call Out Mom Who Didn't Invite Autistic Child To Daughter's Party

When parents are planning young kids' birthday parties, it's always a tricky situation when you make the invite list. Sometimes, parents decide to include everyone in the child's class at school so that no one feels left out.

Other times, parents include just close friends and immediate family to cut back and save some money. But no matter what parents do, some children feel left out and excluded when they're not invited.

Recently, one mom wrote into Reddit asking for advice about her guestlist for her daughter's birthday party.

Unsplash | Jakob Owens

The mom, who shared that her daughter in second grade was having a pool party for her birthday, asked if she was "wrong" for excluding a student in the class who has special needs.

The mom shared that there is an autistic student in her daughter's class.

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"One student in her class, let’s call him Tyler, is nonverbal autistic. I’ve met him a few times, and he’s a sweet kid, but yeah nonverbal autistic. He is in my daughter's class partially but leaves midway through the day to go to a special program or something," she wrote.

The mom said when planning the party, she gave her daughter a "choice" of who she could invite.

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"Now I told my daughter she can either invite all the girls, or the entire class. I am not letting her invite specific people and single anyone out," the mom said.

The daughter had chosen to invite the whole class, but asked that her mother not invite Tyler.

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"She ended up choosing the whole class, but my daughter, as respectfully as a second grader could be, asked me if it was okay if Tyler did not receive an invite. She said he’s barely in her class and doesn’t really know anyone, and it might be tough for him to be at a pool party," she added.

After discussing with her husband, the mom decided to side with her daughter.

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"I talked to my husband about this and we ended up deciding that she does not have to invite him. She has to give out her invitations through mail however because I do not want him seeing her giving invitations out," she said.

Then, while speaking with some coworkers, the mom felt as though she made the wrong choice.


"I was talking about this at my work with a couple other nurses and a few of them thought I was being horrible by telling her she didn’t need to include the child with special needs. I said that I do not have any experience handling special needs children, and I didn’t know if he would need special assistance or even need his mom or a caretaker there the whole time," she wrote.

A coworker pointed out that she completely messed up.

"A coworker told me I made a huge mistake by 'teaching my daughter that it’s okay to exclude those who are different,'" she added.

The mom asked the Reddit community if her actions were "asshole" worthy.

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Unanimously, the Reddit community agreed that this mom was setting a terrible example for her daughter.

"You are definitely teaching your daughter that it's okay to exclude people who are different. It's not your choice if he can handle the party or not. He should absolutely receive an invite and his parents/caregivers can decide if he's capable of attending," one Reddit user said.

One Reddit user shared that they, too, were excluded from a pool party and it deeply hurt them.

Unsplash | Raphaël Biscaldi

"When I was 7, a classmate (2nd grade) had an awesome-sounding birthday pool party. She invited the entire class. Except for me. Why? Because I was the 'fat kid'. Everyone talked about the party at school, and I KNEW just how horrible a person I was. It made school that much harder for me. It made me hate myself so much...

"It sounds like the pool party hasn't happened, yet? Send the kid an invite. Encourage the kid's parents to attend. Don't teach your kid that it's OK to exclude someone like this," they said.

Some Reddit users were angry that this mother is also a nurse.

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"I missed the fact that you're a [expletive] NURSE because I was so mad already. You really should know better. I hope your coworkers report your lack of compassion to the higher-ups because I can only imagine what your bedside manner is like," they said.

Many pointed out that her daughter is at the age where she is developing "empathy."

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"Your daughter is at an age where kids are developing empathy and learning how to interact with people, and IMO this is absolutely the wrong message to give her. You told her she's not allowed to exclude specific people, but you're bending that rule to allow her to exclude the one 'different' kid in her class," one user said.

Others said the mom could have just asked Tyler's parents, it was as simple as that.

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"You haven't even spoken to Tyler's parents to find out if he wants to come. He may only be there briefly if it is something he struggles with, but at least he isn't being isolated from his whole class. Don't teach your daughter and the rest of the class that excluding someone different is okay, this is how both conscious and unconscious bias toward differently abled persons starts," one commenter said.

Some pointed out that this could turn into further problems in her daughter's future.

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"She is teaching her child it is okay to exclude people that are different.

"Yes, it starts [off] small as a kid's birthday party but can turn into something so much uglier as she gets older and takes this with her.

"We should be working towards breaking down the walls of the way our society is structured and being inclusive of everyone's differences," someone said.

However, one user said that this mom wasn't in the wrong.

Unsplash | Carlos Felipe Vericat Sanz

" I know I'm in the minority on this one but I think it needs to be said. OP you aren't in the wrong at all for not inviting Tyler. Starting with the basics both you and your daughter don't feel comfortable having him there. Which, [in my opinion] is reason enough, but to top it off he is nonverbal which not only makes logistics and ensuring safety harder it makes it more difficult for your daughter to connect with him and [ensure] that both of them are having a good time," they said.

One autistic Reddit user weighed in on the topic as well.

Unsplash | Alireza Attari

"Hello I’m autistic myself and have come to give my two cents on this matter

"I can definitely understand a 7-year-old not wanting to invite someone she doesn’t know very well and [who] doesn’t spend the whole day in the class.

"And I can totally understand your concerns about his safety and his potential need for a caretaker or other special requirements.

"However, I find it cruel to just decide that this is alright without further thought. In my opinion, you should have contacted Tyler’s parents and asked them what they thought. Chances are if Tyler does require a caretaker or more attention they will let you know and probably even provide for these things, or even offer to chaperone themselves," they said.

What do you think about this situation?

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