Like most children with his condition, 7-year-old Timothy isn’t invited to many birthday parties. Diagnosed with nonverbal autism at the age of 2, Timothy struggles to cope with noises and distractions most of us don’t even notice. Imagine if the sounds of everyday life coming from a speaker. Most of us have the volume dial set to about 3 or 4, but for Timothy it’s turned up to 11.
While he’s well liked at school, Timothy’s condition makes socializing difficult to say the least. That’s why his mother, Tricia Klein, was shocked to find a special note included with a birthday invitation Timothy brought home from school. When she read the letter Tricia was moved to tears.
Carter sat beside Timothy at school and he always talks about him (: I really hope he can come. We are renting a bounce 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 too much with the whole class. Let me know so we can make it work.
Tricia was overwhelmed with emotion after reading the note from Carter’s mother, Ainsley Peikos. “I was shocked that someone would take not only the time to write the note but to be considerate enough to include him with all of his difficulties,” she said in her blog. “It was a wonderful moment …
We parents of the ‘specials’ know only too well the hurts our kids feel when they are left out of the social gatherings relative to childhood. Organized sports, play dates, sleepovers, and yes – the dreaded birthday parties. I want only one thing for our kids – for all kids really, and that is inclusion. All they want is to feel included and accepted for who and what they are – that different is okay … it’s just different.”
Peikos didn’t know how special her note would be. “Carter had always talked about him, so I didn’t think twice when he wanted him at the party,” she said. “The only question was, ‘How could we make it work so that Timothy could come and have a great time just like anyone else?’ He came early. He went right into the bounce castle with Carter and they had a great time.”