A devastated dad has written a rage-filled open letter to his friends after they consistently failed to invite his 6-year-old son Reilly to their kids’ birthday parties.
Shane Stephenson’s post was shared on Twitter by his wife Christine, who chronicles their life at The Life of Reilly.
Sharing a pic of Shane’s message, Christine tweeted: ‘My husband’s message to his mates breaks my heart’ along with #inclusion and #autism hashtags, and a crying face and broken heart emoji.
Shane’s swear-word fuelled note pulled no punches, and his hurt and anger on behalf of his little boy was apparent in every line.
The letter in full
“Right this has been brewing for some time so here it goes and you can like it or f***ing well lump it. My son Reilly has autism not f***ing leprosy; he is 6 years old and my so called friends who have kids also have kids parties.
“Not ONE invite not f***ing one. Think about that whilst you go and f*** yourselves; you have any idea how hurtful that is? Just for the record in future don’t bother he’s not an after thought he’s my every f***ing thought.”
Christine’s tweet of Shane’s post obviously resonated with many readers online – it was soon liked by over 5.5k people, and re-tweeted more than 2,000 times.
Some parents replied to the tweet to share their own experiences of their children being left out, while others extended the hand of friendship to invite Reilly to parties they were throwing.
Reilly’s mum later spoke to the Huffington Post website and offered up advice to other mums and dads who were feeling as angry as her husband.
“Shane was incredibly upset at the thought of Reilly not being part of his circle of friends.
“This incident was just the straw that broke the camel’s back,” she explained, adding that many of the responses she has since received have shown that it is sadly a very common scenario.
“Every message I have received has the same words,” Christine said. “‘This happened to my son/daughter/granddaughter/grandson too, my child was the only one not invited’.
“I would say to other parents in the same position: yes, it’s upsetting – no one wants to think of their child as the child that’s not invited – but find your own pack. Those who truly understand and run with them.”
We can totally understand Shane’s frustration and why he felt he had to write this letter – can’t you?
And it totally demonstrates how important it is to include all children when throwing a party – even if you are unsure if the invitation will be accepted, or if the child would want to come.
Because there’s nothing worse for a little one than being excluded, right? And as Shane’s post proves, it can hit their folks pretty hard, too…