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Heartbroken For My Son

by Sheena



My son, Tommy, is age 9. He has additional needs (ADHD and autistic spectrum disorder). He attends a mainstream school 4 days a week and a special school 1 day a week.

There is a girl at his mainstream school who he counts as his best friend; Sally. They have been friends since babyhood and are in the same school and Sunday school class. I am friends with her parents too.


It was Sally's birthday last week. She and her mum were over at our house for a play date but the birthday wasn't mentioned.

Tommy did not get invited to Sally’s party. At first this didn't bother me because sometimes she had a 'girls only' party.

But then Tommy told me that Sally was having 2 boys and 1 girl to go to the movies as a birthday treat. He was upset that he hadn't been 'chosen' to go by his best friend.

I tried to make light of it, but I am actually heartbroken about it.

You see while Sally is a high achieving and sociable wee girl with a wide circle of friends, my son struggles socially.

He never gets invited for sleepovers, never gets invited to parties and no other kids drop in to play unless I organize a play date.

Sally's mum and I have been friends for a long time and I thought that she understood the challenges my son faces. So I feel incredibly hurt, disappointed and angry that Tommy was left out of Sally's birthday treat.

I would have paid for his ticket if money was an issue because it would have meant so much to him.
I am not usually a vindictive person but I keep thinking that I wish I could make this person feel the same hurt that I feel and I really don't want to see her or talk to her again.

I even considered inviting all Tommy’s classmates to his birthday but leaving Sally out.

I won't do it but I want to! But Tommy still wants to be friends with Sally.

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Feb 07, 2015
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Heal Your Heart And Trust Your Son
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Sheena

I know this is very painful for you, to see your son hurt in this way. It's important that you not let your emotions make this into your issue, instead of letting it be his. Trust him. He still wants to be friends with Sally, and that's good. He's optimistic, and I encourage you to let him sort this out, and help him if he comes to you with a question. Focus on his strengths and abilities, not his limitations. He is not defined by his diagnoses, and may even grow beyond them, as many other unique and successful individuals have.

Meanwhile, look to your own wounded heart, and check your own personal history around exclusion, being left out and feeling betrayed by others. Deal with your own emotions, so that you bring a strong and optimistic love and support to your precious son.

I hope this helps. My best to you and your son.

Dr. DeFoore

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