This story will definitely make you smile…and also make you critically think. It may even help a few of us parents understand how to include “special” children without feeling awkward or intrusive.
This is the story of Timothy, who has been diagnosed with non-verbal autism since he was two. His mom, Tricia, runs a Facebook page and a blog where she documents their adventures together and discusses his journey openly.
Timothy’s a pretty cool dude, as you can see from his minion hat and arcade lovin’ photos below. Timothy’s mom is a big believer in her son. She constantly says, “focus on what they CAN instead of what they CAN’T…. [I’m] surprised every day by what he CAN do.”
Together, 7 year old Timothy and Tricia have had to turn down quite a few birthday party invitations. With Timothy’s autism, every noise and every distraction is multiplied. This makes him likely to react in a large crowd of crazy candy-fueled kids (at say, another kid’s birthday party).
At the end of a regular school day, Timothy brought home this handwritten invitation from another child’s mom. After opening it, Tricia was brought to tears.
Tricia read the text: [My son] Carter sat beside Timothy at school and he always talks about him (: I really hope he can come. We are renting a bounce castle that we can attach a small bounce slide at the bottom. We will also have water balloons & water guns. Maybe Timothy can come earlier in the day if it would be too much with the whole class. Let me know so we can make it work.
Without another thought, Tricia sent in her and Timothy’s RSVP to Carter’s mom. Days later, they went a little earlier to the birthday party to avoid the crowd. This meant that Timothy and Carter got to have a BLAST on the bouncy castle together (see below) and avoided any potential meltdowns.
Finally, Timothy didn’t have to miss out just because he is a little different…and THAT is what we love about this story. It took Carter’s mom only a small amount of extra effort to make Timothy feel included and special too. Instead of putting it on Tricia to ask for special treatment, Carter’s mom offered it right away with the option to take her up on it or not. We love that. Absolutely heart melting!
Have you ever considered the needs of other children when inviting them to parties? Are YOU a parent who has a child that could use a unique invitation like this?