A mum is heartbroken whenever her autistic children are excluded from their friends’ birthday parties.
Katherine Peereboom has to console her three boys – Oliver, seven, Joshua, six, and Tyler, four.
In a first person piece for Kidspot, the CEO of Spectrum explained why it can be such a “soul destroying” issue.
She wrote: “The hardest thing is how other kids treat my boys. My sons are often excluded from birthday party invitations.
“Even worse, kids with autism who invite school friends to their party often find no one turns up. As a parent this is devastating to witness.
“Kids often don’t understand special needs children and it’s strange to them and it can be startling. It’s soul destroying.”
Katherine explained that autistic people can be branded “odd” or “weird” because people don’t understand the condition.
She also lifted the lid on challenges she faces as a parent.
As her children are “boys with comorbities and sensory processing disorders” , they find it difficult it have their hair touched.
This makes washing their locks a big mission – and can cause even more difficulties when they go to the barbers.
The mum explained how her youngest son had a difficult time during a recent salon haircut.
After the little one “began to scream and cry”, Katherine was judged by a fellow punter.
A couple complained about the noise, which led to the mum breaking down in tears in her car.
She hopes that sharing her experiences will encourage people to be more understanding to those who have autism.
Katherine added: “Discrimination is all around for my boys. It’s in every single facet of their lives. The rejection from schools, sporting activities, parties, the cruel looks, the horrid comments, people laughing and pointing, and it makes me sick to my stomach…
“It is witnessing the unjust in my families lives that propels and drives me to continue my work in the space.
“The task ahead is so very great, and I am grateful to be surrounded by such a powerful, diverse and unique team.”
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