Tricia Rhynold has a son with autism and since social events can be challenging, she usually declines the invites. One day she received an invitation that was different than the rest.
The invitation read:
Carter sat beside Timothy at school and he always talks about him. I really hope he can come. We are renting a bouncy castle that we can attach a small bounce slide at the bottom. We will also have water balloons & water guns. Maybe Timothy can come earlier in the day if it would be to [sic] much with the whole class. Let me know so we can make it work.
Rhynold’s feelings were evident in her blog post about it:
I don’t know this Mom or even this child personally. I want to. Desperately.
This Mom wrote exactly what I needed to see that day and didn’t even know it.
This Mom gives me hope for Timothy’s future when sometimes I get stuck in the darkness of his diagnosis.
This Mom is everything I strive to be.
This Mom rocks.
This ——>(ME) Mom will be RSVPing a HELL YES for the first time ever. And I can’t wait.
We have never met before today (the party). Timothy and I headed over about 45 mins early as per my texts with Carter’s Mom (Ainsley). Honestly, it was like we were friends already…we were welcomed into their home and treated as such. Timothy spent about 45 mins on the inflatable with Carter and some other friends. He had a blast! It was so beautiful to watch. Hard to describe but I most definitely had a lump in my throat.
I don’t know how many times I said thank you but I likely hit a dozen. It didn’t seem enough, (the words). When we left I hugged Ainsley (Carter’s Mom) and we plan to keep in touch over the summer and get the kids together again. These are good people. I can’t sing their praises enough for the kind of parenting they have/ are doing. It’s amazing and I feel very thankful for meeting them.
Tricia also shared some advice for parents who don’t have kids on the autism spectrum:
Kids are so accepting of each other at this age (6-7) and positive experiences and exposure to different is always a good thing. Let them be kids and answer their questions honestly (age appropriate of course). Different isn’t always a bad thing. Different can be cool. Different can be beautiful. Teach them to embrace it!
She noted that for parents with kids with autism, it’s important to never give up when it comes to including them in social events. Tricia shared that “every child on the spectrum is different and they will surprise you if you let them.”
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