When you have a disabled child, you want to make sure they feel included at all times. But when your child is not invited to a single birthday party. They may be too young to be really hurt by it, but as a parent, it’s really hard to accept. Meet Reilly Stephenson.
He is a 6-year-old boy with autism and he is also nonverbal. His father, Shane, is heartbroken with the struggles and judgments that his son has had to face but what broke him, even more, was the fact that his “friends” weren’t inviting Reilly to any of their kid’s parties.
So just like any loving father would do, Shane decided to take things into his own hands and spoke up for his son. He texted his group of friends and reminded them how painful it is to not be included in any of their kid’s birthday parties.
His wife tweeted out his message for the rest of the world to see. The message read, “My son Reilly has autism, not leprosy…”
He continued, writing: “He is 6 years old and my so-called friends who have kids also have kids’ parties. Not ONE invite, not one.”
That is truly heartbreaking to read. His wife captioned the image on Twitter, writing “My husband’s message to his mates breaks my heart #inclusion #autism”.
Reilly’s mom, Christine, actually runs her own blog called “The Life of Reilly”, where both parents write about their son’s struggles in an effort to make families of kids with autism understand that they’re not alone.
The general goal of this blog is to make people more educated and ultimately make them less judgemental. It’s tough for some parents of kids with special needs to see how their kids struggle socially.
But at least Shane hoped that his friends would make an effort to help his son feel more included and less different from everyone else. If Reilly’s parents thought their son wouldn’t be okay at the party, they’d turn it down. But it’s the thought that counts.
Sadly, none of Shane’s friends even had a thought. In his message, Shane also made it a point for his friends to know that they shouldn’t start inviting Reilly because they feel bad. He wrote, “Just for the record, in the future don’t bother…he’s not an afterthought”.
Even though Shane’s friends didn’t have a thought about Reilly, the entire internet had nothing but heartwarming messages for Reilly and his parents. Parents are praising Shane for his love for his son and standing up to those who are oblivious to Autism.