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Parent Stirs Drama By Refusing To Force Daughter To Invite Autistic Classmate To Her Birthday Party

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Many people nowadays do everything they can to make sure their children’s social lives are as inclusive as possible.

But one parent on Reddit started drama with other parents when she drew the line at inviting an autistic student in their child’s class to her birthday party because of the potential for disruption.

They weren’t sure about how they’d handled things, so they went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by YourDad438 on the site, asked:

“AITA for not making my daughter invite special needs kid to her birthday?”

They explained:

“My daughter is turning 7, and we’re going to a movie and pizza for her party. At her school the policy is all boys/girls or the whole class. Some parents have gone around that but I don’t like that whole dynamic so I’m making her stick to the school guidelines. She wants to invite her whole class.”

“Here’s where I might have messed up. When we were writing out the invitations daughter asked me if we had to invite ‘Avery’. Avery has autism and something else, and she’s barely verbal, very hyperactive, and isn’t potty trained. My daughter comes home with a story about something this kid did easily twice a week.”

“She said she doesn’t want everyone paying attention to Avery ‘like they always do at school.’ I thought about it and decided daughter doesn’t have to invite her. I have nothing against the girl, but I respect my daughter’s choice.”

“Well, apparently one of the other parents is friends with Avery’s mom, and she complained to me when she said Avery didn’t get an invitation. I told the other parent it wasn’t malicious but I do want my daughter to be able to enjoy her birthday party without having to always be ‘inclusive.'”

“She must have passed this on because the girl’s mom messaged me and said ‘thanks for reminding us yet again that we don’t get invited to things.” I apologized but I stood firm.”

“I really don’t want to make my daughter be miserable at her own birthday party, especially since she didn’t even get a party last year thanks to pandemic. But after the backlash I got I have to wonder if I’m somehow missing a chance to teach my daughter not to discriminate. So AITA?”

People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

As you might assume, OP’s fellow Redditors were not at all on OP’s side.

“YTA, you didn’t stick to the guidelines. You invited everyone except one person, which is literally the reason the rule exists, and you did it for ableist reasons. You’re the reason the rule exists. Good job” –SometimesSmarmy

“Oh my god, I completely skipped over Op pretending she was following the rules by blatantly breaking the rules. If nothing else YTA for that fu*ked up logic to say you followed policy while breaking the policy.” –AaronMichael726

“AND OP is teaching SEVEN YEAR OLD daughter that, when it really matters, her special day, fu*k disabled people, she shouldn’t even have to look at them. YIKES.”

“OP: You are absolutely the hugest AH here and if you are honest you didn’t want to have to ‘deal’ with this awful creature you hear at least two stories a week about.”

“She’s a human fu*king child who just wants to be a part of her class and again, selfish fu*ks like yourself leave kids like Avery excluded and you teach your child to bully by exclusion, if not worse.”

“The worst part is you felt justified by trying to convince us how ‘bad’ A SEVEN YEAR OLD CHILD ON THE SPECTRUM IS. A CHILD. You wanted us to tell you you’re a hero for treating that young girl like sh*t.”

“YTA. Big time. You owe Avery and her mom an apology to their faces and a promise to do better about not being an ableist AH.” –CeruleanRose9

“As a mom of two kids on the autism spectrum, you are the parent I hated when my kids were growing up. My kids would be in tears knowing they were the only ones left out over things they had no control over. YTA. Be kind and do better!” –mama2esb

“…Who makes plans in front of someone not involved?! This isn’t just a school thing. This is a real world etiquette thing.”

“I am so tired of people being like this and claiming it’s whatever and just about inclusivity. It is manners. If someone isn’t invited they shouldn’t know that it is happening and they certainly shouldn’t be singled tf out.” –MsTakeIn

“OP breaking the rules is secondary to me. I’m more concerned that instead of making it a teaching moment with her daughter to be kind, caring and compassionate to everyone, she decided to teach her daughter that a person with disability is LESS THAN. Huge YTA.” –jshady8

“This is a hard one because I have kids with disabilities that never get invited to things and it’s so devastatingly heartbreaking seeing them so hurt. My son is 7.5 and has never even been asked for a playdate.”

“My 15yo has never had a party. But the fact is your daughter comes first and if she will feel uncomfortable about inviting the child with special needs, then that seriously needs consideration.”“I DO think you need to talk to your daughter though about inclusivity and acceptance, but she still shouldn’t be forced to invite someone she doesn’t want to.”

“I DON’T think inviting the whole class and excluding that one child was the right thing to do. That is a real a**hole move for sure.”

“You could have invited just a handful of kids (the school rules are BS), the school really can’t tell you who you can and can’t invite to a party, that’s none of their business. There are ways you could have sent invites without disrupting the teacher and class.”

“I know this isn’t quite the same but I won’t restrict certain party foods in case of other kids having allergies, it’s MY child’s party and they should be able to eat whatever without dietry/allergy restrictions. I will inform the parents that it’s not an allergen safe party, and the parents can decide whether or not to bring them, or bring their own food with them.” –Foxxy_Vixen35

Hopefully OP can learn from this.

Written by Peter Karleby

Peter Karleby is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.