Shane Stephenson watched his friends throw parties for their children. But his own son never got an invitation.
— Life of Reilly (@life_of_reillys) October 21, 2017
As Mamamia reported, Shane’s 6-year-old son, Reilly, has severe autism. But just because Reilly is nonverbal doesn’t mean he doesn’t love to socialize. As mom Christine said during an interview with ITV:
“Reilly loves a party. He’s sociable and he’ll play alongside you. He may not look at you, but he wants to be involved.”
However, watching their friends ignore Reilly was more than Shane could stand. He finally texted them to get his feelings off his chest, warning them this had been building up for some time.
Christine shared the message on Twitter:
My son Reilly has autism, not f*****g leprosy; he is six years old and my so-called friends who have kids also have kids parties. Not ONE invite; not f*****g one. Think about that whilst you go and f**k yourselves; have you any idea how hurtful that is?
In the ITV interview, Shane said Reilly probably isn’t aware he’s being excluded, but that doesn’t make it all right. He added that other than from his classmates, Reilly’s invitations total, “possibly one christening,” in his entire life.
Christine acknowledged that as parents of an autistic child, they were likely overlooked. She told ITV:
“Our social lives are … the [trash] bins go out more than us. We don’t have child minders queuing up to look after Reilly because some of his behaviors are quite difficult.”
After Christine shared Shane’s message on Twitter, it was retweeted thousands of times. Many of those who responded pointed out that Shane’s so-called friends didn’t deserve the title.
No one really gets it unless your in it. But I’ve learnt to let go of those “friends”. It’s quite liberating. But doesn’t take away the pain
— Eliza Mishcon (@elizamishcon) November 4, 2017
They are not real friends, he is spot on. We have been through exactly the same. Stay strong ?
— Imperfect Mum (@imperfectmumx) November 5, 2017
And a few reached out with invitations to Reilly.
Hi Reilly, just letting you know you’re welcome to come and party with us any time. We’d love to have you and your family ?⚪️??
— Rochdale Hornets (@RochdaleHornets) November 7, 2017
My son, Bailey, turns 5 in May. We’re in Richmond, London but Reilly is more than welcome to come to his party. ❤️
— Mark Duckett (@markbounce) November 6, 2017
Christine only wants people to use a little more consideration when it comes to families like hers. She told ITV:
“As parents, we need people to be more accepting of autistic children.”
In his message to his friends, Shane let them know it was too late to try to fix things now: “Just for the record, in [the] future, don’t bother. He’s not an afterthought. He’s my every f*****g thought.”
Today we met parents Shane and Christine who went viral after calling people out on their prejudice behaviour towards children with autism pic.twitter.com/9CzaPa2nF8
— This Morning (@thismorning) November 9, 2017
Watch the interview below, via ITV: