We all want our children to be well-liked and popular at school. So one man from Newcastle, England’s anger at his son being shunned by his classmates for social events was certainly understandable. But it also turned out to be an opportunity to educate others on the trials of being an autistic child.
Six-year-old Reilly Stephenson is such a kid, one of the millions born each year “on the spectrum,” as the disorder is referred to. That’s because there’s a wide range of severity of symptoms, and of the symptoms themselves, which can range from somewhat anti-social or awkward behavior to difficulty with physical coordination to simply seeing the world through a filter that some of us might find “different.”
But Reilly’s dad, to his credit, is determined that whatever his son’s issues may be, he will still know love and friendship all his life.
“Reilly has autism, not f***ing leprosy,” Shane, the dad, tweeted out to the parents of Reilly’s classmates, not a one of whom had invited the autistic boy to their children’s birthday parties. Christine, Shane’s wife, and the boy’s mother were so touched that she also reposted the tweet on her own social media, and from there, it went viral, receiving over 5,000 likes and more than 2,000 retweets.
While there is much debate about the cause of autism and why it seems to be much more prevalent these days than ever before, the challenge of raising an autistic child is unquestionable, and even more so because there’s so much diversity of symptoms that the disorder can sometimes be hard to pinpoint.
Shane was so worked up over his son being ignored, his language got pretty colorful, but he certainly got his point across loud and clear.
“Not ONE invite not f***ing one. Think about that whilst you go and f*** yourselves; you have any idea how hurtful that is? Just for the record in future don’t bother he’s not an afterthought [sic] he’s my every f***ing thought.”
Kudos to dad for sticking up for his son, and to his wife for backing him on it as well. Christine noted that it won’t be easy, but she hopes with more understanding of what autism is – and isn’t – that things will look up for Reilly next year.
“There are some building bridges to be done now,” the mom said.
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