With friends like these, who needs friends
Parenting can be a lonely business, especially when you’re the mom or dad of a child with special needs. One would expect our friends to be there for us, and to be their for our kids, when necessary.
One dad of a young autistic boy found out the hard way that his friends weren’t there for him or his son, and he was not having it.
Shane Stephenson’s son Reilly is a 6-year-old nonverbal boy with autism. Together with his wife, Shane writes the blog The Life Of Reilly in an attempt to bring awareness to the challenges of life for and with an austistic child, and to “make people less judgmental.”
Apparently their own friends didn’t get the memo that compassion and empathy are essential traits, because not a single one of them invited Reilly to any of their own kid’s parties. And Shane was done staying silent about it.
He sent an angry text to the offending “friends,” baring his hurt feelings and condemning them for their abandonment. It’s a wonder that he only told them to “go fuck themselves” once. His wife shared the message on Twitter, where it quickly caught fire, gathering over 6700 likes and 2500 retweets in just two days.
— Life of Reilly (@life_of_reillys) November 4, 2017
“My son Reilly has autism, not f*cking leprosy,” Shane wrote. “He is 6 years old and my so-called friends who have kids also have kids’ parties. Not ONE invite, not f*cking one.”
He’s damn right. Autism isn’t contagious, but cruelty can be, especially when it’s modeled by adults.
It boggles the mind that none of these guys would think to invite Reilly to their kids parties. Kids can be jerks –
you certainly don’t need to have autism to know what it’s like to be excluded, as most of us can probably attest to in one way or another – and it’s up to us parents to correct our children when they don’t show empathy and compassion.
Reilly’s dad is no fool, he knows what kids are like. But he probably didn’t anticipate his own friends failing to step up. And now he’s done with them; he has bigger fish to fry.
“Just for the record, in the future don’t bother,” he texted. “He’s not an afterthought, he’s my every f*cking thought.”
His friends may not have had his back, but social media does.
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Reilly’s friends may have let him down, but it’s pretty clear that his dad never will.