It’s never easy for parents of disabled kids to cope with the feeling of exclusion when their child is never invited to parties. The situation can cause a lot of disappointment and sadness. However, there are ways to handle this and make sure your child doesn’t miss out on socializing with their peers. Here are some tips for parents whose disabled kid is never invited to parties:
1. Acknowledge your feelings
It’s natural to feel disappointed and sad when your disabled kid is never invited to parties. Accept your emotions and find a way to deal with them in a healthy way. Talk to someone you trust, write down your thoughts, or engage in activities that help you feel better.
2. Ask yourself, why?
As much as we want to see our child included in every social event, the reality is that there isn’t always room for every child on a guest list. It can be challenging when we see our child being left out, but it’s important to remember that the host may be limited by factors such as the venue’s size or the event’s expense. If your child isn’t a close friend or relative, it can be difficult to justify including them on an expensive guest list. Of course, it’s different if your child is the only one in their class who was left out, but it’s important to look at the big picture and decide whether or not you should take the slight personally.
3. Have a conversation with your child
Your child may be aware that they are never invited to parties, and this can be hurtful. Talk to your child about the situation, and explain that not everyone understands disabilities and inclusion. If they need to vent, let them vent! Acknowledge their anger, and don’t try to minimize their frustrations. Reassure your child that they are loved and valued.
4. Educate others
Are you sure that your child’s disability is the reason they were excluded? Use this opportunity to educate others about disabilities and the importance of inclusion. Reach out to the parents of the child who is having the party and explain your child’s needs and how they can be accommodated. Offer to help plan activities that are inclusive and accessible to all children.
5. Host your own party
If your child is never invited to parties, consider hosting your own party. This will allow your child to socialize with their peers and have fun in an inclusive environment. Plan activities that are accessible to all children and use this as an opportunity to educate your child’s friends and their parents about disabilities and inclusion. Carefully consider your guest list and invite people you are sure want to attend. A smaller guest list might benefit your sensory-sensitive child, so don’t feel pressured to pad the guest in an attempt to hedge your bets.
6. Ask yourself, “Did we even want to go?!”
Sometimes, as parents, we get caught up in the idea of our child being invited to parties, even if we know they won’t enjoy them. It’s important to ask yourself if you even wanted to go to the party in the first place. If your child won’t have fun, or if it will be too challenging for them, then you are better off! Focus on spending quality time together doing things that your child loves.
In a constantly evolving world, we must remember that our children may not always be welcomed into every space. When public spaces fall short of inclusion, it is everyone’s responsibility to do the work to create more inclusive environments. And when the world pushes back, it is okay to take a break and make sure our children feel the full weight of our love and support in our private spaces. Together, we can build a world that is inclusive and welcoming to everyone.