On Air Now
Heart's Feel Good Weekend with Lilah Parsons 10pm - 1am
23 November 2019, 16:30 | Updated: 23 November 2019, 16:35
A mother has admitted to deliberately excluding an autistic child from her son's nine-year-old birthday party despite inviting the rest of his class.
Posting on Reddit's "Am I the Asshole forum, the anonymous American mum explained how she got her son to hand out invitations to his classmates at school.
She wrote: "We invited everyone in his class (he goes to a small private school so there were only 15 kids to invite) except for one child we'll call David.
"The school my son goes to has a programme for special needs kids where they are put into a 'normal' class once a week."
Describing David as a "high functioning autistic child", the mum said he is placed in her son's class to teach his classmates "not to discriminate against other special needs people" while also helping David with his socialising skills.
However, the mum has refused to invite David to her son's birthday after hearing rumours about an incident at another party the year before.
She continued: "Last year through friends, 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.
"The mum then went on to say that the party taking place at an arcade would pose "logistical problems" for David. Naturally, David's mother was furious when she heard what had happened.
"David's mother called me last night and confronted me about this," the mum continued.
"She told me I am awful for excluding her son and that I'm teaching my son to discriminate."
She then criticised the mother for 'assuming what her son can and can't do' before hanging up the phone. To make matters worse, the woman explained how David's mum has now written a passive aggressive post on Facebook and many other parents are siding with her.
Unsurprisingly, the woman's dilemma has sparked a fierce debate in the comments over whether she was in the wrong.
One replied: "I understand your concern about the meltdown. But you could have spoken to his parents beforehand about the environment and potential ways to mitigate that.
"You could have spoken to your son's teacher to see if she or he has advice for how David is in group situations.
"This would have been a good chance to teach your son to include people and instead you taught him it's okay to exclude someone if their disability makes your fun times slightly more difficult."