A story has gone viral about a mother who was upset that her son, who has Down Syndrome, wasn’t invited to his classmate’s birthday party. Apparently, everyone else in the child class was invited which caused the boy with Down Syndrome (Sawyer) to feel left out. Sawyer’s mother wrote an open letter to the parents of the birthday boy & decided to post it on social media in an effort to encourage inclusion on behalf of her son. The parents of the birthday boy ended up sending a “special” invitation to Sawyer to appease the mother and many people rallied around Sawyer’s mother for standing up for her son.
Here is the opening paragraph of her letter from her Facebook page:
I know we don’t know each other well but my son Sawyer and your child are in the same class. I understand that your child recently delivered birthday invitations to the entire class except to Sawyer, who was not invited. I also understand that this was not an oversight on your part, that it was an intentional decision to not to include my son….
My question is this: Since when does everyone have to be invited to a child’s birthday party? Shouldn’t the ‘birthday boy’ be able to invite anyone he wants to his OWN party?
While it would be great if everyone was invited to everything, that’s just not possible. The parents who are paying for their child’s birthday party can legally, ethically & morally invite whomever they choose. Who’s to say that the birthday boy himself even wanted his classmate, Sawyer, to attend his party?!
I understand that no one wants to be left out, but why blast someone over social media just because your son was excluded from a PRIVATE event? Wouldn’t you want your child to go to a party that they were actually invited to, not one where they weren’t wanted in the first place?! Why force your child on anyone else? No one is obligated to include your child in a privately held function, whether they have Down Syndrome or not. Respect the wishes of those who are throwing the party.
I don’t think Sawyer’s mother handled this in the best way. First off, she should not have taken to social media to express her gripes about her son being left out. Secondly, did she even find out why her son was not included? Perhaps the other parents were concerned about needing additional supervision for Sawyer. We don’t even know the age of the classmate who was throwing the birthday party. Down Syndrome children are typically academically delayed which means they could be in a class with people who are 3,4 or even 5 years younger than they are. So while these two children were in the same grade, that doesn’t mean they were the same age. Maybe the birthday boy didn’t want an “older” kid at his birthday party.
Thirdly, at some point children have to learn that they won’t always be included. Regardless of our “condition” in life, not everyone is invited to everything. What better time to learn this life lesson than as a young person?
At the end of the day, it’s okay to stand up for your child but these parents can invite anyone they want into their home and to their child’s birthday party. It’s their home, it’s their money and it’s their right.
What do you think? Should Sawyer have been included with the rest of his classmates or do people have the right to invite whoever they’d like to their own party?