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A mum wrote a moving letter after her son with Down Syndrome was excluded from a party

“The only reason why you decided it was OK to not invite my son to your child’s birthday party is because he has Down Syndrome.”

JENNIFER KISS-ENGELE is mother to eight-year-old Sawyer, who happens to have Down Syndrome.

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Recently, she discovered that a parent in Sawyer’s class invited every other child to a birthday party except him. She was hurt that her son was the only one excluded, so she posted an open letter to the parent on Facebook.

Kiss-Engele’s letter has been shared thousands of times since it was posted last week:

I know it’s not because he’s mean, you couldn’t meet a happier child. I know it’s not because he’s not fun, he has a great sense of humour and an infectious laugh. I know it’s not because your child and him don’t get along, he’s brought your child’s name up on several occasions. The only reason why you decided it was OK to not invite my son is because he has Down Syndrome.
I know if you knew more about Down Syndrome you wouldn’t have made this decision… People with Down Syndrome want the same things you and I want. They want to have close relationships, they want to feel love, they want to go to birthday parties. I know it can be difficult to teach our children something we may not understand ourselves.

“He’s always just been Sawyer to me and I haven’t felt the need to talk [to his class] about Down Syndrome until this moment,” she said. “I realise now I have let him down.”

Read the rest of her heartbreaking letter here.

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The story has a happy ending though: In an update posted earlier this week, Kiss-Engele wrote that the parent in question spoke to their child about Sawyer and created a special invitation just for him.

“Of course he’s been beaming ever since and can’t stop talking about it,” she wrote.

I’m really proud that my letter has reached so many people because it’s not just this birthday party and it’s not just Sawyer. There are so many kids with special needs (and without, of course) that just don’t make the cut. I hope that parents who read this will help open that dialogue with their own child.

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