Mum speaks out after son with Down Syndrome excluded

"Having Down Syndrome doesn't mean that you don't want to have friends," wrote Sawyer's mum. "People with Down Syndrome want the same things that you and I want." Photo / Facebook
"Having Down Syndrome doesn't mean that you don't want to have friends," wrote Sawyer's mum. "People with Down Syndrome want the same things that you and I want." Photo / Facebook

A Canadian mum has penned a heartbreaking open letter after her son was the only child in the class who was excluded from a birthday party.

Jennifer Kiss-Engele was hurt and upset for 8-year-old son, Sawyer, when she discovered his classmates had left him out.

So the mother-of-three wrote a letter to the parent of the child that had excluded him.

"You have invited all 22 other children from the class except for my son," she wrote in the letter, which she shared on Facebook.

"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."

Sawyer's mum said that she chose to share the message in the hope that it would encourage a conversation about begin more inclusive of special needs children.

"I am not mad at you. Rather, I think this is an opportunity for you to get to know my son better," she wrote. "You see, having Down Syndrome doesn't mean that you don't want to have friends."

The letter triggered a huge response from parents all over the world, who voiced their support via Facebook messages.

And this story even has a happy ending. Kiss-Engele added an update to her post, saying that the parent had read the letter, and the birthday child had created a special invite for Sawyer.

"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 its not just Sawyer."

-nzherald.co.nz

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