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ASPartOfMe
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25 Dec 2021, 9:07 am

Mum slammed after daughter, 6, refuses to invite autistic friend to her birthday party

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A mother has been slammed on social media after defending her seven-year-old’s decision to exclude a friend who has autism from her birthday party.

Sharing on Reddit, the mother - believed to be from the US - said her daughter had voiced her concerns about inviting her classmate, who has additional needs.

The little girl told her mother that she didn’t want the girl, named Avery, at her party because she didn’t want “everyone paying attention” to her “like they always do at school

The mother decided to support her decision, agreeing to leave Avery off the invite list - making her the only child in her daughter’s class who wouldn’t be welcome at the birthday party

In her Reddit post, the mum said her daughter’s choice had caused enormous tension with the other school mums.

“My daughter is turning seven, and we’re going to a movie and pizza for her party,” she said.

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.

Well, apparently one of the other parents is friends with Avery’s mum, and she complained to me when she said Avery didn’t get an invitation,” she said.

“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’.

Despite her strong stance, the mum conceded that she was now having second thoughts.

“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,” she said.

“But after the backlash I got I have to wonder if I’m somehow missing a chance to teach my daughter not to discriminate.”

“(The mum) is teaching seven-year-old daughter that, when it really matters, her special day, f*** disabled people, she shouldn’t even have to look at them. Yikes,” she said.

Another parent was a little more understanding.

“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,” she wrote.

“My son is seven and has never even been asked for a playdate. My 15-year-old 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 agree with the last parent. 7 year olds are often selfish. “You always pay attention to(sibling)” talk is common. The mom has 364 other days to teach her kid not to be an ass but making it all about you is kind of the point of celebrating birthdays.


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Mona Pereth
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25 Dec 2021, 12:49 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Mum slammed after daughter, 6, refuses to invite autistic friend to her birthday party
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[...]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.

I'm a bit confused here. Is the party being held at the school? If not, how does the school get to have a "policy" on who gets invited to the party? Do schools in some countries have rules dictating children's social lives outside of school?


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League_Girl
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25 Dec 2021, 1:32 pm

Schools like to have a policy of inviting the whole class to avoid a kid being left out. Imagine if everyone but you got invited to a birthday party?


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funeralxempire
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25 Dec 2021, 1:50 pm

League_Girl wrote:
Schools like to have a policy of inviting the whole class to avoid a kid being left out. Imagine if everyone but you got invited to a birthday party?


Imagine being invited out of a sense of obligation and treated differently the whole time as a result.


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25 Dec 2021, 3:49 pm

Imagine letting a six or seven year old make his/her own decisions. This was a teachable moment and it was lost.


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Mona Pereth
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25 Dec 2021, 3:58 pm

League_Girl wrote:
Schools like to have a policy of inviting the whole class to avoid a kid being left out. Imagine if everyone but you got invited to a birthday party?

When I was little, it wasn't customary for an entire class -- or even almost an entire class -- to be invited to a kid's birthday party, in the first place. Such parties were primarily for relatives plus a handful of close friends of both the kid and the parents.

When I was young, at least here in Queens, kids' birthday parties (at least until the kids reached their mid-teens) were typically small and held at the family's home. There simply would not have been enough physical room for an entire class, or enough food to feed an entire class.

The only large birthday parties I remember hearing about were "sweet sixteens" for 16-year-old girls. Even then I don't think it was customary to invite all of the girl's classmates, or even almost all of the girl's classmates. Even then, guests were mostly relatives, family friends, and neighbors.

(I didn't have a "sweet sixteen" because my parents knew I didn't like large parties.)

More generally, even for "sweet sixteens," the idea of a school having any rules whatsoever about any parties or other events that took place anywhere outside of the school building itself would have been seen as bizarre. Schools just didn't have any say over a child's life outside of the school itself, except to require homework.

So this entire thread is a bit of culture shock for me.


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ASPartOfMe
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25 Dec 2021, 8:25 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
League_Girl wrote:
Schools like to have a policy of inviting the whole class to avoid a kid being left out. Imagine if everyone but you got invited to a birthday party?

When I was little, it wasn't customary for an entire class -- or even almost an entire class -- to be invited to a kid's birthday party, in the first place. Such parties were primarily for relatives plus a handful of close friends of both the kid and the parents.

When I was young, at least here in Queens, kids' birthday parties (at least until the kids reached their mid-teens) were typically small and held at the family's home. There simply would not have been enough physical room for an entire class, or enough food to feed an entire class.

The only large birthday parties I remember hearing about were "sweet sixteens" for 16-year-old girls. Even then I don't think it was customary to invite all of the girl's classmates, or even almost all of the girl's classmates. Even then, guests were mostly relatives, family friends, and neighbors.

(I didn't have a "sweet sixteen" because my parents knew I didn't like large parties.)

More generally, even for "sweet sixteens," the idea of a school having any rules whatsoever about any parties or other events that took place anywhere outside of the school building itself would have been seen as bizarre. Schools just didn't have any say over a child's life outside of the school itself, except to require homework.

So this entire thread is a bit of culture shock for me.


Growing up in the same era as you that is how I remember it with the exception of one party for kids after school and one for the adult members of the family on the nearest weekend to the actual birthday. But they were always at the residence, nobody rented out places. Nobody would invite a kid the child did not like.

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Schools just didn't have any say over a child's life outside of the school itself"

Neither did employers


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Mona Pereth
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26 Dec 2021, 1:09 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Growing up in the same era as you that is how I remember it with the exception of one party for kids after school and one for the adult members of the family on the nearest weekend to the actual birthday. But they were always at the residence, nobody rented out places.

I remember our local church's basement being occasionally rented out for a "sweet sixteen" party, but not for any other birthday parties, when I was growing up.

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Nobody would invite a kid the child did not like.

Right, because not that many kids were invited in the first place.

When did it become commonplace for kids to have such large birthday parties, other than just "sweet sixteens"???

I am shuddering at the very thought of such large parties being such a frequent and expected part of so many kids' lives these days. Yuck! Like many autistic people, I'm a person who hates large parties, especially loud ones. There are also other reasons why such a custom bothers me.

I guess all these kids also have to buy gifts at least several times per month for all the other kids whose birthday parties they will be attending? And I guess they all have to pretend to be grateful when receiving dozens of gifts for which they have no use? (When I was little, I had to put up with only a few such gifts per year, on both the giving and receiving ends, and even that was too much IMO.) What an incredibly wasteful custom!! !

I guess it's good business for Amazon. (Or do these kids also spend a lot of time scurrying around to physical stores to buy birthday gifts for their classmates? This I doubt. Otherwise, retail stores and malls would be thriving a lot more than they are these days.)

I am also shuddering at the thought of parents being expected to pay all the other costs for such large parties once per year for each child. As if the costs of raising a child weren't already outrageously high, even without all these expensive parties. How far down the economic class ladder do these expectations extend, I wonder?

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Off Topic
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Schools just didn't have any say over a child's life outside of the school itself"

Neither did employers

Yikes! How much and what kinds of say over their employees' off-the-job lives do most employers consider themselves entitled to have these days? Let's discuss this topic in another thread.


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IsabellaLinton
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26 Dec 2021, 1:14 am

League_Girl wrote:
Schools like to have a policy of inviting the whole class to avoid a kid being left out. Imagine if everyone but you got invited to a birthday party?


Up to the age of five, my number of guests was supposed to match my age.

Age 1: 1 guest
Age 2: 2 guests
etc

At age 6 I could still only invite five.

These guests included cousins, for the most part. I didn't have random school friends to my house.



cyberdad
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26 Dec 2021, 8:34 pm

Well that would make every primary aged girl in my daughter's primary school culpable based on this story.



Summer_Twilight
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28 Dec 2021, 3:18 pm

The way I see it, the birthday girl is jealous of all the special attention and support the other person needs. On the other hand, I understand where she is coming from because a birthday is everything to a little kid.

However, she does need to learn how to be more accepting of people who are different. Therefore, this is a great learning experience for her.



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28 Dec 2021, 4:42 pm

I don't understand. She's inviting the whole class because she's supposed to learn about inclusion. It seems like this is an obligation from the school because I'm sure there are likely a few other kids she'd prefer not to include.

Why then does the school (or whoever came up with this ridiculous rule) allow her to exclude one person?

Is it a rule or not a rule?

What if she said she didn't want to invite a certain person because of their gender, their culture, or their race?

Does this school (family) believe in inclusion, or only at the expense of disabled children?

The bigotry / double standards come from these adults, not the birthday girl.

None of this should be acceptable, and she shouldn't be having that many kids in the first place. Talk about overstimulation! How will she learn to select friends on her own? Also who the heck wants 30 kids at their party? I'm an adult and I couldn't handle that at my own party.

Inviting 30 kids doesn't make anyone feel special, in my opinion.



cyberdad
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04 Mar 2022, 5:35 pm

My daughter just got invited to a birthday party!!

It's kinda weird since she turned 15 she's gotten more invitations and from boys!!



Ettina
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15 Mar 2022, 7:19 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
I guess it's good business for Amazon. (Or do these kids also spend a lot of time scurrying around to physical stores to buy birthday gifts for their classmates? This I doubt. Otherwise, retail stores and malls would be thriving a lot more than they are these days.)


Does anyone actually buy birthday gifts on Amazon? With the short notice you typically have for birthday invitations, I doubt you'd actually receive the gift in time. That'd only work if you decided to buy the gift before invitations were actually sent out.

Or do people nowadays hand out birthday invitations months in advance?