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Children's Birthday Parties 2010-02-17 06:00:18

Mommy Dearest: How Do I Handle Special Needs at My Party?

Mommy Dearest –

I am planning a gym party for my son's upcoming fifth birthday and am having an internal dilemma about whether or not to invite one particular child. The child in question has special needs that often involve her not listening well to instructions. At our party last year, the child did not listen to the teacher's directions and ended up interfering with the other children's art projects. When the teacher said something to her, her parents ended up yelling at the teacher for "coaching" their special needs child. I'm nervous about inviting them to the party this year because of the somewhat rowdy nature of a gym party, but at the same time, don't want the child to be left out just because of her differences.

What would you do?

– Should I Include Mommy

To see the response from Mommy Dearest,


Dear Should I Include Mommy,

It does sound like the child has a special circumstance that needs tending to. Her parents should know better than to yell at the party coaches during someone else's party. You have the right idea to include her so she doesn't feel left out. By inviting her, you are teaching your son, and the other children there, that everyone deserves to be included in a celebration. That said, I suggest notifying the coaches at the gym about the situation ahead of time. I am sure they have handled similar situations before and by giving them advance notice, they can better prepare for possible scenarios with her parents.

– Mommy Dearest

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kia kia 6 years
You should be having this conversation with the child's parents to express you want to invite the child and ask for their input on what actions can be taken to work with the child in hopes of not repeating last year's distractions. They will be the experts on this child's needs so can probably give some answers as well as come up with precautions if the child needs some space to reset.
skigurl skigurl 6 years
if everyone else is being invited (ie: the whole class) you can't very well exlude her...that would be terrible but perhaps you can make a call to her parents personally and just let them know what kind of a party it is and see if they want to be there, as well if her parents are totally rude (which it seems they might be) then you should distance yourself from that family entirely in the future, but like lil said, it would be nice to include her to show your child what it means to be kind, and especially if everyone else from the class is invited
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