Parents Share Heartbreaking Message To Friends Who Excluded Their Autistic Son From Parties

'Not one invite. Have you any idea how hurtful that is?'

A mum has shared the expletive-filled message her husband sent to his friends after their child, who has autism, was not invited to any of their kids’ parties.

Christine Stephenson, from Newcastle, explained it broke her heart that her husband Shane had to call out the exclusion of their six-year-old son Reilly.

“Reilly is pretty much nonverbal and is an awesome little boy,” Christine told HuffPost UK.

“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 camels back.

“We struggle for support, we have no regular childcare and feel very isolated.”

Christine Stephenson's son Reilly.
Christine Stephenson
Christine Stephenson's son Reilly.

Shane’s message to his friends read: “My so called friends who have kids also have kids parties. Not one invite not fucking one.

“Think about that whilst you go and fuck yourselves; have you 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 fucking thought.”

My husbands message to his mates breaks my heart 😢 💔 #inclusion #autism

— Life of Reilly (@life_of_reillys) November 4, 2017

The message hit a chord with people on Twitter - it was retweeted more than 1,600 times and favourited more than 4,500 times.

It also attracted nearly 300 replies, many from other parents of children with autism who could relate to the situation the Stephenson family found themselves in.

Listen, that's the kind of fire and power you need in a corner when you are in that kind of situation. Well done that dad. Mine is the same!

— Simon Andrew (@SimonAndrewx) November 5, 2017

They are not real friends, he is spot on. We have been through exactly the same. Stay strong 💕

— Imperfect Mum (@imperfectmumx) November 5, 2017

Well done, every word rings true. We were told at nursery " the other children dont like him, please dont bring him back".

— alison dixon (@alisondixon4) November 6, 2017

My daughter had a way to handle this. She simply asked the mother of a child with autism what she needed to do to make the party a good experience for him. They had a great party.

— Anna L. Bond (@Morose4347Bond) November 6, 2017

Speaking about the overwhelmingly supportive response her tweet has received Christine said:

“Inclusion is a big problem for autistic people. Reilly may not speak but he listens and he understands - as he grows I fear for the affects this may have on his mental health, as it does for so many others.

“Every message I have received has the same words. 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.

“Our friends aren’t horrible people, I know they feel our struggles. They are mortified that Shane feels this way.

“There’s some building bridges to be done now that Shane has spoken about how he truly feels and I think only positivity can come from his outburst.

“The simple advice I give is: Just ask.

“Don’t assume we don’t want to go because it’s difficult, our lives are difficult, often fuelled on three hours sleep. We’ve often fought a battle before you’ve stepped into your slippers.

“Ask if Reilly or any other autistic child would like to come even if it’s for half an hour but definitely ask.

“Parents know how their children will be in certain surroundings and there is no one better placed to call it.

“They may decline but I can guarantee it will be declined with grateful thanks.”

Christine started a blog called ‘Life Of Reilly’ with the hope of making people less judgemental, by giving them an insight into what life with a child with autism is like, (“which is sometimes incredibly hard”). She has also been involved in creating a play called ‘The Life of Reilly’, which is about the family dynamics in an autism household.

“One thing is for sure, from reading the messages of support we have received from people around the world, there has never been a greater need for better understanding,” she said.