When I read the bottom of my son’s birthday party invitation, I burst into tears.

Timothy, a 7-year-old boy with severe autistic spectrum disorder, loves and plays with all of his heart. He need a lot of extra aid in school and often appears to be completely unaware of what’s going on right under his nose. “DEAR (OUTSTANDING) MOM WHO DID SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL FOR MY AUTISTIC SON, You and I don’t know one other, although my son, Timothy, sometimes sits alongside your kid at school.My autistic youngster wants friends but doesn’t always know how to find them.

He wants to play but doesn’t always know how to ask.He wants to be included but doesn’t always know how. We parents of special-needs children understand the anguish our children feel when they are excluded from social groups. Sports, play dates, sleepovers, and, of course, the dreaded birthday party. I can confidently state that my son has not attended any of them. We’ve gotten a lot of invitations in the last few years, usually from youngsters who invite the entire class. Don’t get me wrong: I’m thankful.

But I’m curious if the parents are aware of what would happen if I brought Timothy. The hiccups, the meltdowns. I’d hate to steal the spotlight from the birthday child. As a result, we kindly decline. Every single one of them. Until your invitation arrived in the mail, accompanied by a personal note. “CARTER SAT BESIDE TIMOTHY AT SCHOOL AND HE ALWAYS TALKS ABOUT HIM,” it said. I sincerely hope he will be able to attend.

WE ARE RENTING A BOUNCE CASTLE TO WHICH A SMALL BOUNCE SLIDE CAN BE ATTACHED AT THE BOTTOM. WATER BALLOONS AND WATER GUNS WILL ALSO BE AVAILABLE. TIMOTHY MAY BE ABLE TO COME EARLIER IN THE DAY IF IT WOULD BE TOO MUCH WITH THE WHOLE CLASS. PLEASE TELL ME HOW WE CAN MAKE IT WORK.” You expressed exactly what I needed to see that day without even realizing it.He is included because of your son.He feels wanted as a result of your son.He has a voice because of your son.

And I want you to know that I can get through another day because of you.I can make it through another appointment because of you. Because of you, I can put up with more glances and questions.I have optimism for Timothy’s future because of you.I simply wanted to tell you how wonderful you are with your baby. Sincerely, Timothy’s mother is extremely thankful.”

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