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about party invitations to SN children my son doesn't know

(32 Posts)
chicletteeth Tue 25-Oct-11 21:09:42

Ok, this is odd, I know it is and I will try to explain myself carefully because I in no way want to be taken out of context on this at all.

My son has recently started a new school, a primary. This is different to his old school in many ways, firstly because his last school was an infant school rather than a primary and because it also had an excellent, oversubscribed SENCO unit within the school, whereas this current one doesn't.

His last school was fabulous, just brilliant in the way it was run. I felt, still feel, it is very important to DSs general life experiences that he is aware of people with disabilities and the level of compassion he has shown from day 1 in reception, towards what are some very sick children makes me so proud.
In his old school, depending on the level of needs of the children in the SENCO unit, they either did or didn't join in with mainstream classes depending on capabilities, but in every other area was a very inclusive school and the children knew each other and played together alike. One of my sons best friends suffers severe global delay and has a lot of trouble socially and with learning but they became friends at this school and still remain so despite us having moved.

So onto new school, he is having a party and this school doesn't have a SENCO unit but does have several children with moderate learning difficulties as well as physical disabilities that attend school. My son is not friends with any of these children yet simply because he doesn't know them/hasn't met them.

A mother of one of the little boys with learning difficulties has found out that my DS is having a party and directly asked me why her DS was not invited? This little boy is in he same year, but in a different class and he is not the only one that has not been invited (out of the year), there are only 10 children coming to his party in total.

I tried to explain all of this to the mother (who I have never spoken with before) and she got very upset and said something along the lines of her DS doesn't get invited anywhere because of his disabilities and even the new boy (my DS) hasn't done so.

I feel so sad for both the DS and the mum who was quite upset about it, but my DS doesn't know him. Only by name and they've never even played together, and loads of other children aren't invited either.

I don't know what to do about this. What shall I do? As from my earlier details, its very obviously got sod all to do with the fact that this boy is disabled and I know she's upset but I feel quite miffed about the implication that he's not been invited because of his disabilities, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Genuinely confused and feeling bad and really don't know what to do.

2cats2many Tue 25-Oct-11 21:16:33

Can you invite him now?

It doesn't have to be an admission of wrong doing in the first place (and I'm not trying to suggest that you have done anything wrong, by the way), but will probably make his upset (and probably a bit embarassed) mother feel better, as well as make her son's day.

TheTenantOfWildfellHall Tue 25-Oct-11 21:17:16

I wouldn't invite children your child doesn't know to your son's birthday party just because the mother got upset whatever the reason, this is your son's birthday party and should be shared with his friends.

However, I would make an effort to give your son the opportunity to become friends with this child, if you feel it is appropriate.

ILoveDolly Tue 25-Oct-11 21:18:19

It feels bad to hurt people's feelings when you didn't mean to, but I find it a bit strange that she would take umbrage at this. If you are having a small party with just a few children your ds knows then all you can do is, carry on and don't do anything else re:this child. You are not in the wrong here. Try not to let it worry you.

If you feel really awful you could take her aside and reiterate that you have only invited a few children, it is nothing personal, you hope she understands etc but ultimately her feelings are her business. I admit it is sad though, I suppose she must have had some bad experiences already.

betheldeath Tue 25-Oct-11 21:18:44

If you explained that her child and your son aren't acquainted then I think YANBU it's probably her being oversensitive.

Don't feel bad, I feel left out when folk I don't know meet up for coffee after toddler group wink sometimes it's just how it is!

TheCountessRoyalofBlood Tue 25-Oct-11 21:21:19

Why don't you invite him for a play date and say that it would be wonderful if they got to know each other and you really haven't not invited him because he has sn but because your ds just doesn't know him yet but would really like to get to know him. To extend an invitation to the party now might possibly seem like you have been bullied into it and she might reject it but inviting her and her son for a playdate and a cuppa might show that you do care and would love it if they got to know each other.

chicletteeth Tue 25-Oct-11 21:21:55

2cats my DS doesn't know him though.
There were other children on his list that he didn't invite because of number and cost (10 in total, 2 of which are my own) so only 8 kids out of a two form year.

I just feel so sad and actually a little guilty (although I don't know why) and I would like to somehow make it up (although I'm not sure what I need to make up) but don't know how to do it.

My son plays with who he plays with in the playground. I ask him on a day to basis about any new friends (he's only been there 6 weeks) and he's never mentioned this boy yet.

Angelico Tue 25-Oct-11 21:22:32

Horrible situation but as others have said this isn't about you but her general unhappiness. I don't think a person should be bullied into inviting someone to a party at any age! As you say it's a small party so don't feel under pressure.

manicbmc Tue 25-Oct-11 21:23:21

Whilst it's sad that her son doesn't get party invites, it's hardly your fault orthat of your ds. If he'd invited everyone and left him out then that would be awful but he's only invited 10 children.

To go off it like that is a bit off. If anyone was being unreasonable I'd say it was her.

MangoMonster Tue 25-Oct-11 21:25:08

You can't really invite children your son doesn't know.

Andrewofgg Tue 25-Oct-11 21:25:08

No, you can't choose your son's friends for him. YANBU although you are in a rotten position.

BOOareHaunting Tue 25-Oct-11 21:25:20

Don't feel bad, I feel left out when folk I don't know meet up for coffee after toddler group - sometimes it's just how it is!

I know it's a really random feeling but so true!

chiclet If you and this boy are not friends then there is no reason why he should be invited. Maybe the mum is using you because your new and your fresh hope to get her DS invited though? It's a hard one.
I'd compromise and say that the party is the 10 he's invited only but invite her DS for a 'playdate' instead and tell her you can see if they get on or not?

SamMiguel Tue 25-Oct-11 21:25:24

I second the idea of a play date.

purplewerepidj Tue 25-Oct-11 21:26:31

YANBU to not invite a child your DS doesn't play with to his party.

However, the mum obviously feels that her DC is pretty socially isolated so would you feel comfortable inviting them round to play one day after school? It sounds like the Mum is pretty isolated as well, and might appreciate someone being friendly?

BOOareHaunting Tue 25-Oct-11 21:26:40

If your DS and....

AKMD Tue 25-Oct-11 21:28:34

YANBU. She sounds a bit unhinged to be honest. Whether her son has special needs or not, she shouldn't have upbraided you and made you feel guilty for not inviting him to such a small party. If it was the whole yeargroup going except him then she would certainly have a point. There is nothing to 'make up' for confused

chicletteeth Tue 25-Oct-11 21:29:14

I've noticed that she doesn't really speak with anybody in the playground and I've only been there for a short while. Christ knows why she came up to me. A girl in DS class is having a party too, to which other DS isn't invited either, but she only invited her class, so again, it's just one of those things.

Maybe she was having a bad day, I don't know, but as I've said, my DS hasn't mentioned this boy at all.

I'm sure he'd love the little boy to come to tea, he plays with anyone and everyone, but all things considered, I just can't invite him to the party.

Thing is I know lots of children don't get invited because of SN and quite frankly it sucks. It's a shitty attitude and having cousins with SN (one with severe autism and one with downs syndrome) I feel angry on their behalf, but it's just not the case this time.

fivegomadindorset Tue 25-Oct-11 21:29:32

Don't feel bad about the party. I am having to explain to DD (one of 18 in the class) why sh is not invited to everyones party. Play date sounds like a good idea.

duvetdayplease Tue 25-Oct-11 21:29:39

Hi, I also third the idea of a play date. Maybe you could do it to be nice to the mum, and the kids can play as a side issue.

When I was a kid my mum used to invite a boy round who had a lot to deal with, he was a carer and didn't seem to have friends. To be blunt, he was a bit smelly. I didn't mind playing with him and I think it probably was a massive boost to his mum. I have a lot of issues with my mum in some areas but she did teach me to reach out to people who are having a really crappy time, and it really was no hardship on me to play with this lad every month or so.

But YANBU not to invite him to the party as that is a totally different matter.

thisisyesterday Tue 25-Oct-11 21:30:52

ok well, firstly I think the other mum was really rude!

ds1 has SN. he has only ever gone to about 3 parties and he is now in year 2. he actually doesn't really care that much, although I can see that other children may. for the most part he doesn't even realise other kids are having parties so it doesn't matter.
I get upset for him, but that's MY issue, not his and certainly not the other parents!

I wouldn't dream of being so rude as to go up to someone and ask why my chidl wasn't invited!

You certainly should not feel bad about not inviting this child to your son's party, esp as he doesn't even know him.. that's just beyond random IMO.

That said, if you wanted to do a nice thing then it would be lovely, and much appreciated I am sure, if you invited this other little boy for a playdate or something on another day?

Stay123 Tue 25-Oct-11 21:31:45

Is a horrible situation and can understand how the mother feels if her DS is always being left out but your DS doesn't know him so it might feel a bit awkward to have him at the party. Take the mother to one side when you see her again and explain that your son has never mentioned her DS and ask her if she'd like to come for a cuppa with you. She is probably very sensitive and hurt.

slavetofilofax Tue 25-Oct-11 21:33:59

This woman was being very very rude and unreasonable, and you should not be left feeling guilty and like you have done something wrong because of her rudeness.

She may have every reason to be upset that her child doesn't get invited to parties, and it does feel horrible, but it is not up to you and your ds to make her feel better.

Her behaviour would put me off inviting her son for a playdate or a party or anything else, and she should realise that she is probably the reason her ds doesn't get invites, not his disability.

I realise I may sound harsh, but I have been where she is with my ds who has SN and hardly ever got invited to parties or to after school play dates. The world does not owe us parents of SN children a favour and it is not an excuse for us to be rude and demand that people pay for our children to enjoy themselves.

chicletteeth Tue 25-Oct-11 21:36:27

I think I will catch up with her after half term and see if she wants to come over mid-morning for a coffee or something first.
That way we can have a chat and then maybe (assuming she's reasonable enough) we can arrange a playdate perhaps.

Perhaps two and a bit years of not having your son invited to parties finally got to her, and me being new and all, she felt she could say something.

At least IANBU! I honestly doubted myself there for a moment.

chicletteeth Tue 25-Oct-11 21:37:20

Thanks for all your feedback

Secondtimelucky Tue 25-Oct-11 21:41:10

Do you think it might have been a case of crossed wires? She thought that everyone had been invited to the party except her DS and, by the time she got far enough into the conversation to be told that that wasn't the case, had kind of worked herself up and was too embarrassed and upset to back down?

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