Dad Uninvites 'Low-Functioning' Classmate From Daughter's Birthday Party — His Single Mom Is Begging Him To Let Him Come

He asked that she accompany him, but she refused — and now it's caused all sorts of drama.

Distraught boy

It's a cliche for a reason—it's not easy being a kid, even under the best of circumstances. But when you're a kid with special needs, it's even harder. The same, of course, is true for parenting when it comes to kids with special needs.

One parent on Reddit found himself in a particularly sticky dilemma when it came to a kid his daughter invited to her birthday party who is autistic. When it became clear that the autistic boy's needs might be somewhat beyond his skillset, he wasn't quite sure how to handle it.


As he revealed in a post to the "r/AmITheA--hole" subReddit, a forum for people to gain input into how they handled a problematic scenario, the situation quickly became fraught when he had to make some tough decisions about his daughter's party.

The dad was accused of 'uninviting' an autistic boy from his daughter's party after he said he wasn't comfortable supervising him on his own. 

The dad didn't think much of the situation at first, until he heard from another parent that the autistic boy is "low-functioning" and can be a challenge for inexperienced parents to manage.

The dad's daughter wanted a pool party and sleepover for her birthday with 30 other kids from her school.


"It's gonna be a busy day," he wrote, which certainly seems like an understatement. Aside from the pool party and sleepover, he also plans to have a bounce house, a bonfire with s'mores, a poolside movie and a cookie-making activity. Quite the bash for his soon-to-be 9-year-old daughter.

He goes on to say that some parents are sticking around the party to chaperone, while others are dropping their kids off and picking them up later—an arrangement he's totally fine with. But it became a bit more complicated when it came to his daughter's autistic friend.

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The autistic boy's single mom asked to drop her son off for the night so she could have time to herself.

The dad was thrilled to include the autistic boy at the party because he says he's "always taught G not to judge others based on their differences." But, he's been told that his daughter's friend is "very low functioning" and "prone to getting easily overwhelmed and will start to shutdown/outburst."


As the video below shows by a creator who is himself on the autism spectrum, events like birthday parties can be very difficult for autistic children to handle. 

And the dad was worried he wouldn't be up to the challenge. "My problem is I have no experience with an autistic child," he goes on to say, and especially since he will be so busy with the party, he told the boy's mother he wasn't comfortable with her son being there by himself. 

The boy's mother "got really upset with me," he writes, telling him how badly she needs "alone time" and how her son will be devastated to be excluded.


RELATED: To The Mom Who Invited My Autistic Son To A Birthday Party

The autistic boy's mom has been telling other parents that the dad didn't invite her son to the party and is purposefully excluding him because he's autistic.

The autistic boy's mom told the dad that her son rarely gets invited to things and that he was so overjoyed to be invited to his daughter's party, only to now have the invitation be rescinded.

That is of course not exactly what happened, but the mom has been telling other parents this story anyway, and they're now "throwing shade" at the dad for leaving the autistic boy out. Other parents have offered to help with the autistic boy, but they, too, have no experience with special-needs children. 

The dad feels bad, of course, but especially since another parent has experience dealing with the autistic boy and says "he definitely is a handful," he's still unsure what the right way to handle this is.


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Most Reddit commenters agreed that the dad did nothing wrong and the autistic boy's mom should attend the party with her son.

Redditors agreed that the mom should stay at the party with her son, as much as she needs a break. 

One user suggested as a compromise that the autistic boy's mom have "a babysitter or family member...come to the party to watch the kid in her stead? Someone who knows [him] and how to help him if he has an outburst, and get him home if he gets overwhelmed."

But even an autistic mom to a son on the spectrum agreed that her request to leave her son at the party was inappropriate—and might even set up her son to be damaged by his experience at the party.


The autistic mom wrote that "folks on the spectrum are often traumatized by untrained supervision... If she needs a night off, she can seek out the many services provided for Autistic folk or talk to her own family/friends."

Experts on autism agree. Autism Speaks, one of the US's largest leading non-profits servicing autistic individuals, urges those caring for or supervising autistic children to have a plan in place because "individuals on the spectrum get overwhelmed quickly because of something called sensory overload."

The organization goes on to suggest caregivers "have a designated area where the child can go...if he has a meltdown or gets anxious."


That is quite a lot to ask of a parent hosting a birthday party. There's no doubt the mom surely needs a break, but a boisterous birthday party probably isn't the best time for her to take one.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.