Help! My Autistic Son Was Not Invited to Our Neighbor's Party

Q: My son Jack, 7, and the neighbors’ kids play together all the time. Recently, the neighbors had a party for their boy and didn’t invite Jack. Jack is autistic and doesn’t realize he wasn’t included, but I am angry. What should I do?
—Name withheld

As the mother of an autistic son, I feel like calling up your neighbors and yelling, “What’s wrong with you people?” But righteous fury is counter-productive. Be grateful that at his age, your son has the gift of obliviousness. Only one thing is truly important here: that he has relationships with other kids. You want to maintain them, even if you secretly think the neighbors are idiots. So the next time a kid on the block has a party, launch a preemptive strike: Say that Jack wants to take him out for a celebration of their own, and then go for pizza or cake. Does this put the burden on you? Yes. But this is your child, and you want him to have good times and friendships. Finally, remember this: Your son is changing every day. The troubling behavior he may exhibit in group situations today could be significantly better, or even gone, in a year or two. — Judith Newman

1 comment:

  1. this happens to my son all the time. The kid lives right across the street and they have played for 3 years now. Every year he isn't invited to the huge party they throw right across the street.