After her son with Down syndrome was excluded from a birthday party, a Canadian mom took to Facebook to share their story.
Jennifer Kiss-Engele, of Langley, British Columbia, posted the open letter Friday on Facebook, addressing the parents who intentionally invited all 22 other classmates to the party. Sawyer, 9, was diagnosed with Down syndrome when he was one month old and underwent open heart surgery to correct a defect at 19 months old, according to Kiss-Engele’s blog.
“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 up your child’s name on several occasions. 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,” the mother of three wrote.
In the post, Kiss-Engele invites the unnamed parents to get to know her son better and speaks of the close bond between her children.
“Having a brother with Down Syndrome has helped shape them into compassionate individuals who know that just because you may be a little different that others, that it’s OK. They are not afraid to help when they see someone struggling,” she wrote.
Kiss-Engele invited the parents to talk and posted an update that the parent read her letter, spoke to their child and the child created a special birthday invite for Sawyer.
“Of course he’s been beaming ever since and can’t stop talking about it,” she wrote in the update, which has over 11,000 likes.