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Dad Livid After Sister Excludes His Autistic Daughter But Not His Neurotypical Kid From Her Wedding

A flower girl runs down a garden path tossing petals
Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd/GettyImages

Kids at weddings have been quite a hot-button issue lately.

More and more, the happy couples seem to be excluding the under-10 set.

There are many reasons given.

But a lot of those reasons, valid or otherwise, don’t always play well with the family.

Case in point…

Redditor Mindless-Dress-3608 wanted to discuss his experience and get some feedback. So naturally, he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for not bringing N[euro] T[ypical] daughter to my sister’s wedding due to autistic child not being invited?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My (37 M[ale]) sister (29 F[emale]) is getting married in June.”

“I have two daughters, one neurotypical (7 F) and one high needs nonverbal autistic daughter (5 F).”

“My sister made a rule about her wedding, no kids under 5, which I think was a ‘polite’ way of excluding my disabled child.”

“My wife or I would have immediately taken her outside if she had a meltdown.”

“As my 6-year-old nephew (also neurotypical) just ‘made the cut’ and gets to go, there are only two other children under 5 in the family with no known disabilities yet.”

“I understand her wedding is her choice, but I’m not okay with including one of my daughters but not the other.”

“Problem is my 7-year-old daughter really wanted to go. She’s a real ‘girly girl’ who loves pretty dresses, princesses, fairies, and yes, brides too.”

“She was excited about getting to see her aunt in a bridal gown (the last wedding she went to, she was too young to remember).”

“Since it is my sister, I don’t feel right missing her wedding, so we are going without the girls, and my in-laws will watch them that night.”

“She’s upset she doesn’t get to go, and my sister says I’m fostering resentment, but I think I’m teaching my daughter it’s not okay to exclude family due to a disability.”

“The way I see it, it’s my sister who created this situation, not me.”

“EDIT CORRECTION: The rule is no kids five and under. My apologies should have specified that.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

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

Many Redditors declared OP WAS the A**hole.

“I think you’re reading too much into this because you’re sensitive about your kid.”

“It sounds like sis made a pretty (American) standard wedding request for no smaller kids because kids under 5 are notorious for being disruptive, which, by your own admission, is likely to happen with your daughter.”

“I understand that you must feel incredibly defensive on your daughter’s behalf.”

“But your sister isn’t discriminating against your child, who you admit is likely to have a meltdown during a very important event.”

“She is trying to save everyone- INCLUDING your special needs daughter- from an incredibly uncomfortable afternoon.”

“YTA- learn to accept boundaries graciously and teach the same to your kids.”

“It’s an essential skill in life.”  ~ Dimension597

“OP is also going to give his older daughter resentment towards her sister in the name of teaching her not to exclude others, and this is from someone also on the spectrum!”

“There’s going to be many events younger daughter won’t be able to attend, or even won’t want to attend, in her life.”

“There’s going to be things that are super overwhelming like weddings, or parks, or school concerts/games, where younger daughter shouldn’t be forced to attend and feel overwhelmed.”

“But older daughter may still want to go.”

“A wedding can SUCK when you’re on the spectrum.”

“Church pews are uncomfortable and slippery.”

“Weddings can be boring.”

“For a child, the reception can also be horrible. You have to sit there in view of a gorgeous, delicious-looking cake and not have any until the wedding couple says so (and while it’s a good teaching moment for patience, there are stories all the time about kids ruining the cake).”

“As an adult, the clothes I have to wear are not comfortable, and I need to have at least one fidget toy in my pocket at all times.”

“The food that looked good on the menu, food I normally love, turns my stomach when combined with the stress of a wedding.”

“Older daughter was excited for the wedding, and OP’s lesson is not going to teach her not to exclude her sister.”

“Instead, she’s going to think she’s being punished for having a neurodivergent sister.” ~ swanfirefly

“Gentle YTA.”

“There’s a part of me that strongly agrees with you.”

“People with disabilities should be a part of the fabric of all social life.”

“And the things we do to make that happen usually make all of our lives better in some ways, i.e., it’s nice to have entrances and store aisles easy to use even if they were enforced by the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

“Nice that doorknob designs and sink faucets are easier to handle, nice to see some picture-based signage rather than always text too hard to read.”

“The other part of me is the sibling of someone with a disability and not one of the cute, charming ones.”

“As a child and into early adulthood, I resented him and my parents so much and spent so much time being angry at the attention and care given him.”

“The world was unfair to him and them, my parents were unfair to me, and I get it and support it now.”

“You’re going to be unfair in this situation, so be unfair in favor of your NT daughter and sister over your child with a disability in this instance.”

“Be unfair without shame and regret – you’ll make it up over time.”

“My empathy to you.”  ~ fromdecatur

“Exactly what I was thinking.”

“’I’m teaching my daughter it’s not okay to exclude family due to a disability.’”

“But it is okay to exclude family due to someone else’s disability?”

“Your daughter doesn’t get to go to something she’s desperate and excited to go to because your other daughter isn’t going.”

“And not even JUST your other daughter but two other kids with no known disabilities.”

“All this is saying is your perceived injustice is more important to you than your daughter.”

“YOU still get to go.”

“So it’s okay to exclude people as long as you get to see your sister get married?”

“Or is it an adult thing?”

“Adults can exclude disabled people?”

“If it’s such a huge insult, why are you going?”

“Get your cake and eat it too?”

“Your daughter is never going to forgive you.”

“This is not fair, and it’s not teaching the ‘excluder’ anything, but your daughter didn’t do anything wrong, and she’s still the only one getting punished.” ~ wheredMyArmourGo

“I’m 41 with autism (no meltdown or so), but big events are such a stress for me.”

“Even weeks before, they cause me so much stress I get stomach pain and panic.”

“They make this wedding more about themself and paint it that it is about the daughter.”

“But they don’t think how the autistic daughter will feel in these stressful surroundings, and they punish the other daughter for this.”

“If you have a child who has autism with a meltdown because sounds and everything gets too much, you don’t bring her to an event where she will just get overstimulated and stressed.”

“As if this would be fun for her.”

“They must accept that their children are different and can do different things.”

“If this goes on, I can see them forcing the older daughter to bring the younger with her wherever she goes because ‘it is so awful to exclude family because a disability.'”

“Dates, parties, friends… and the younger must tag along. YTA.”  ~ EvilFinch

“Plus, no bride wants there to be an interruption in the first place!”

“Taking her outside, much like a crying baby, doesn’t alter the fact that a noise has already occurred if you are then exiting (likely sitting near the front in this case as a family member).”

“Sorry OP, but soft YTA because the request is not just about family members…”

“The bride doesn’t want any children who might interrupt her day – she likely has friends with small children too…”

“The world does not center around you, and I seriously doubt this rule was solely against your youngest.”

“Additionally, your youngest would likely find the whole ordeal to be a miserable experience with the noise level of the reception, etc.”

“You are not doing your oldest any favors by teaching her that she will miss out on opportunities in life because of her sister.”

“She is too young to have that level of understanding and empathy.”

“Rather, she will be building frustration and resentment towards disabilities instead of the real intent of the bride: to be included/excluded by AGE.”

“Stop being so overly sensitive and defensive to the detriment of your oldest.”

“You hopefully realize that many siblings of disabled people live unfair lives due to your parenting methods.”

“You cannot help but favour and protect your children, but this is NOT something she HAS to miss, nor should it be.”

“There will be so many countless situations where the exclusion is very real, or where concessions will be made in the name of inclusion, that you should be finding the opportunities for your oldest to get to participate in things that will otherwise not matter to or upset the youngest!”

“I am so frustrated on behalf of your oldest.” ~ HuntWorldly5532

“Precisely. OP YTA.”

“And your older ‘Neurotypical’ daughter is going to realize more and more as she gets older that you favour your younger daughter because of her issues.”

“She is going to grow more and more resentful as you prevent her from living her life to appease her younger sister.”

“It is a common trap families with a child with issues fall into. Look for it and do better.”  ~ ThatFatGuyMJL

Well OP, sounds like Reddit has some issues with your reasoning.

It’s your sister’s wedding.

Her wedding, her choice.

Hopefully, you all can just focus on the happiness of the day.

Good luck.