Mom goes viral in Reddit “Am I The Asshole” thread for not inviting child with autism to her son’s birthday
An anonymous mother on the internet is in hot water for posting an “Am I The Asshole” on Reddit with a story that is peak asshole. The mom wrote an AITA on why she invited all 15 of her son’s classmates expect one student who is on the autism spectrum. The mom claimed that she was trying to avoid “a meltdown” and wanted her “son to have a good party,” and not surprisingly, she was met with a swift and resounding “you’re the asshole.”
“We invited every one in his class,” the mom explained. “Except for one child well call david.”
“David is a high functioning autistic child who was put in my sons class to help him socialize and to help the other kids learn to not discriminate against special needs people,” the mother explained, while clearly unable to detect any irony in the fact that she, herself, is actively discriminating against “David.”
“There have been incidents with david before,” the mom wrote on Reddit. “…I had heard that David had a meltdown at another party he was invited to. I don’t know if I believe it but parents who were there say that it was because he wanted to open presents like the birthday boy and when told no freaked out.”
“After my son passed the invitations word spread around that we had excluded the special needs child in his class,” she continued. “This got back to davids mother who called me last night and confronted me about this. She told me that I am awful for excluding her son and that i’m teaching my son to discriminate. When I brought up the logistics and the past incident she told me that i’m an asshole for assuming what her son can and cant do before hanging up…I just want my son to have a good party and didn’t mean anything by this.”
Commenters stepped in to assure her that she is certainly the asshole here, but it turned into a civil discourse and — hopefully — a teachable moment for the mother.
Other commenters jumped in to say that she’s not just the asshole, she’s discriminating against the child.
“Even in her worst case scenario, if the kid would have a fit at the party, his mother would just remove him,” another Redditor shared. “Instead OP denied him access based on the prejudice (‘preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. ‘) that he is likely to have a fit.”
Also, the OP’s suggestion that David is in her son’s class to “help the other kids learn to not discriminate” is a whole other can of problematic worms (David isn’t there to teach your kid a lesson, he’s there to learn like everyone else, ya dingaling), but we can’t unpack all of that right now.
Melissa Owsiany, a mom to a son with autism, penned an essay for Scary Mommy on the overwhelming gratitude she felt when a fellow mom invited her son to a birthday party at a gym and called the gym ahead of time to find out how they would accomodate a young child with autism.
“I would never expect special treatment normally, especially not on someone else’s birthday,” Owsiany wrote in her essay. “This Mama Bear had given up that day, but there was another Mama Bear fighting for my son. For the first time, instead of feeling excluded, we felt included.”
As for the Reddit thread, one commenter chimed in with the perfect response, basically giving the anonymous mom a pre-written script for how she could’ve handled the situation the first time around.
“Easy to call [David’s] mom and say, ‘My son is having a birthday and your kid is invited! Is there anything I can do that might help the day go well? Would you like to come as well?’”
See how easy it is to be cool and inclusive and not an asshole?