Last week, Shane Stephenson a father in the UK, received a lot of attention after his impassioned and heartbreaking post about his how his 6-year-old son Reilly is excluded from birthday parties due to his autism went viral. Now Shane and his son are once again making headlines but for much happier reasons. Since his letter went viral, Shane says Reilly has received invitations to thousands of birthday parties all over the world. Reilly’s first RSVP? To the birthday party of a girl who had also experienced a bit of the birthday blues.
After her husband’s post went viral, Reilly’s mom Christine, who runs the popular parenting blog Life of Reilly, discussed the many invitations her son received in the past week.
“Since it went up on Twitter, we’ve literally had thousands of invites from all over the world,” Christine explains. “I can’t actually think of a country we have not been contacted from. People are writing to us and telling us to get in touch if we’re ever visiting the country where they live. It’s been great.”
But the invite that struck a cord with Reilly was that of 6-year-old Jaycee Smith. She recently moved from Nottingham to Blyth and was devastated when only one friend from her new school showed up for her birthday party. When Jaycee’s mom saw Shane’s post about his son, she decided to reach out and invite Reilly to Jaycee’s party. As Reilly was all too familiar with the pain of feeling left out, he happily agreed to attend a second birthday party next Sunday.
It’s great to see this story end on such a heartwarming note, as complete strangers were so willing to include Reilly in their festivities. Hopefully, this entire experience will help other kids and parents refrain from excluding others in the future.