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Teen Skips His Own Birthday Dinner After Parents Plan It Around Special Needs Siblings’ Tastes

teen boy blowing out birthday candles
Lana2011/Getty Images

Redditor Puzzleheaded-Oil6586 recently had their 16th birthday.

For this special occasion the Original Poster’s (OP’s) parents asked him where he wanted his birthday dinner.

Unfortunately, his top pick did not align with what his parents felt was best for his siblings who have numerous food allergies and other special needs.

The OP is used to being an afterthought to his siblings, so out of exasperation he chose not to show up to his own birthday dinner.

This caused quite the issue between the OP and his parents, driving the OP to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).

He asked:

“AITA for not showing up for my birthday dinner at a nice restaurant knowing everyone was waiting for me and my parents had to pay a deposit for the table?”

He went on to explain:

“I’m [16-year-old Male] the second oldest of four. My older sister (18) has down syndrome and is medically complex, with complex needs. She also has food allergies.”

“My younger sister (13) has a host of food allergies and some of them are very serious and she’s also on the spectrum.”

“Then we have my younger brother (11) and he has a lot of medical issues related to food and allergies that go along with it.”

“We always try to make sure places are accessible for them. Especially because my older sister is in a wheelchair.”

“This does mean I can be overlooked. It does mean making sacrifices or accepting that things will never be as far as it would be for a kid in a family with less extra/special needs.”

“I’m used to not getting my favorite dishes and I’m used to not getting my top pick for vacations because my parents don’t think it’s accessible enough or autism friendly enough.”

“I’m used to my siblings never getting turned down for that stuff. After a while it became something I expected.”

“I was lucky that my maternal grandparents tried to make up for it when they could and my best friend’s family would also include me in their family for stuff like meals out.”

“My favorite restaurant in our city is this Indian place. My favorite dish is their samosas.”

“I never get to eat there with my parents and siblings and we never get takeout from there because it’s not deemed safe for all my siblings.”

“Sometimes that stinks, especially when my parents proclaim they always get their kids favorite food from their favorite restaurant for their birthdays each year.”

“This year my parents made a big deal over me turning 16 and they told me to pick my favorite place for us to have a family dinner for my birthday. A family dinner that included extended family.”

“I told them my favorite place and they told me that wouldn’t work. I asked if they wanted my favorite place or a place catered to my siblings.”

“They asked me if I didn’t want to cater to my siblings and I said no. They asked where did I want to go, I said the Indian place.”

“They gave me one of those looks and said they would give me more time to think.”

“A couple of weeks after they asked me where I wanted to eat for my birthday and I told them my answer had not changed.”

“They asked me if I could really enjoy my birthday knowing it wasn’t accessible and safe for my siblings to eat there and I said yes…”

“…since it’s meant to be my birthday and they wanted me to say my favorite restaurant. They told me they would book ‘the family favorite’ and went ahead and did that.”

“The ‘family favorite’ has nothing I actually like, I just tolerate it. They had everything planned, invited everyone and when the evening came for the dinner I just didn’t go.”

“My parents are furious with me. I had everything taken for a week and they plan to continue the punishment in some way. My grandparents defended me but my parents said I was rude.”


Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors decided:


“I’m so sorry. I hope your grandparents or bff celebrated you.”

“Just know in 2 years you can escape. (Unless you can go to your grandparents or Bff to live there now??)”

“And they will wonder why you don’t want to be with them anymore or take care of your siblings when they can’t anymore.”

“The more ‘fair’ alternatives would be to order takeout on birthdays. So you can get your favorite and they can get safe foods and you eat at home or wherever can host your group as a whole.”

“Or maybe one parent takes the birthday kid out for an outing and meal of their choice, one on one time, and cake back at home with the family. “

“I’m sorry OP. Happy Birthday!” – Trick_Delivery4609

“NTA, your parents are. Of course they want it to be easier for them, but they asked you for your favorite spot and tried to gaslight you into another place.”

“Sure, it’s easier for them, but it sounds like you’ve had to do this your entire life. Not fair.”

“As much as they want to include your siblings, they should be supporting you too. Maybe a compromise at an Indian place that’s more accessible…”

“…would be a compromise but not possible depending on where you live. (I thought all restaurants needed to be ADA compliant?)”

“Regardless — this will forever be an issue in your life. Do you want to embrace it or run from it?” – thr33l3gg3dc4t

“NTA. It somehow bothers me even more that your parents hyped this up about you picking the restaurant for your special day…”

“and then completely ignored your desire to get a day that’s just for you (and some samosas).”

“I hope in two years, when you turn 18 and can get out of there, your parents will be on Reddit wondering why you left at the earliest possible time.”

“It hurts me to think about how many times in your life they’ve ignored your needs and made you sound like you’re causing problems.”

“Any possibility you could stay with your grandparents?” – TemptingPenguin369

“Why can’t you have birthday lunch at the Indian place? It doesn’t have to be a “’family meal.’ Either mom or dad takes you out for lunch at your favorite place.”

“It’s a special meal for you. You are 16. I would give you gift cards to that restaurant and let you go whenever you wanted.”

“I have a special needs daughter. She’s an adult now. But I never made her younger sister make accommodations for her.”

“Your parents have three children with disabilities. That’s exhausting. Let mom and dad know that your birthday is YOUR day.”

“If they want a family dinner, ok. Just not on YOUR birthday. If anything, get take out from the Indian restaurant and let them have what they want at home.” – Traditional_Air_9483

“Mom of a child in the spectrum.”

“You’re NTA. I have one neurotypical son and an atypical daughter. There are times when one wants something, and the other can’t or doesn’t want it.”

“So for special occasions or requests, I do take out the ONE child out. It does not always have to be a family thing.”

“Of course, there are family days when we always consider the meal sensitivities of my son, but I do go out on birthday dates or stepdad and daughter or stepdad/son do their own thing.”

“We realize that our kids are individuals with one needing a bit more adjustment. It doesn’t mean that the other can’t be indulged (if we can) as well.”

“We want them to know each are loved uniquely. And in the end, the extra effort makes it easier for one to accept the other.”

“NTA” – MareeSaid

“NTA I was going to go with everyone sucks but no.”

“Here’s what changed my mind: Your parents asked what you wanted and then when you told them they gave you ‘more time to think’…”

“…meaning you were supposed to think about how selfish you were being and choose differently, on your own, to the more sibling friendly option.”

“Why even ask you then? Why didn’t they just say, for your birthday we’re all going to Family Favorite, because that’s what was going to happen from the jump.”

“They wanted you to decide, on your own, to prioritize your siblings. It was a test and that’s really crappy of them.” – Camera-Realistic

“NTA. Your parents are morons. They need to understand that the world doesn’t revolve around your siblings.”

“There are times when those three need to take a backseat and let you be in the spotlight. If they can’t do that, then they suck as both parents and people.” – Old_Inevitable8553


“Your birthday is supposed to be about **you** and your happiness. It’s that one day a year when family should gather to celebrate **your** life, **your** preferences, and make **you** feel valued.”

“It’s not about what’s easiest or most convenient for everyone else; it’s about compromising to honor **you**. And, yet, here you are, having to take a stance because your voice isn’t being heard.”

“It sounds to me like you’ve been accommodating your siblings’ needs year-round, and asking for one evening where your choice is respected isn’t asking too much.”

“Your parents need to realize that every child’s needs including yours should be met with equal importance.”

“They could have handled this differently: celebrate twice, once with everyone at a mutually agreed spot and a second time at the Indian place you love…”

“…even if that means making separate plans for your siblings. Sitting down and discussing what makes you feel seen and heard on your birthday might pave the way for a happier family dynamic…”

“…one where everyone’s needs are considered without overlooking someone’s chance to shine. Your protest might just be the wake-up call they needed.”

“Happy Birthday, OP! I hope you find a way to celebrate that makes **you** feel as special as you deserve” – BustyBellaxx

Hey, it’s his party, so he’ll skip if he wants to.

What do you think? Let us know the comments below.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)