Jennifer Angele lives in Canada. Her little son Sawyer recently experienced a real tragedy: he was the only one from the whole class who was not invited to a classmate’s birthday. We all remember what it means for a child to be an outcast among their peers.
And Jennifer decided to stand up for her son. She wrote an open letter to the birthday boy’s parents and posted it on her Facebook page. Do you think mom got excited? Maybe. But the situation is further complicated by the fact that Savier was born with Down syndrome, and his mother is constantly forced to watch how others are trying to push her son to the sidelines of life. “I perfectly understand that this is not a mistake, but a deliberate decision on your part,” wrote in his letter to Jennifer.
Parents invited the whole class to the celebration – 22 people. And only Savier was left without an invitation, which, of course, everyone immediately learned. According to the mother, her son never had problems with classmates. He is a very kind boy and tries to be friends with everyone. Therefore, Jennifer is sure that the boy was not invited to the party just because he is a little different from the others.
The woman knows very well that many people feel awkward around her son and do not know how to behave. “I know that if you knew a little more about people with Down syndrome, you would not make such a decision,” she wrote.
In her letter, the woman recalls that at first she herself had a hard time: no one could explain to her how to raise her son. From those around her, confident that the boy would never be “normal”, she heard only stereotypes and was seriously worried that her son would never be able to communicate with peers.
But all her fears disappeared when she saw how Savier easily finds a common language with his brother and sister. In her letter, she tried to explain that her son is no different from other children, even if sometimes he behaves unusually:
“People with Down syndrome look at life in exactly the same way as we do. They want to find good friends, they want to communicate. They want to be useful, they want to achieve something in life. They want to go to classmates’ birthdays.”
Jennifer asked the parents of a classmate to talk to their son: “Any parent wants his child to be friends with peers, not to be an outcast. And for this, we ourselves must set an example for our children, we must instill in them the desire to make the right choice.” The woman is sure that the boys will be able to make friends if they get to know each other better.
Savier had almost never been invited to birthday parties before. And my mother began to suspect that it was her fault. The boy studies in the most ordinary class and does not require any special treatment, so his mother never asked teachers and parents of classmates to treat her son in a special way. “I know that parents of children with Down syndrome, before sending them to school, often speak at parent-teacher meetings to talk about their child.
But I didn’t. For me, he was always just a normal kid, my Savier, and it seemed to me that people already knew enough about Down’s syndrome that I didn’t need to lecture them. But I was wrong. Now I feel like I let my son down.” Jennifer regrets not talking to her classmates’ parents sooner.
Perhaps then she would not have to defend her son in public. Of course, in her letter she did not indicate any names. But acquaintances could easily understand to whom this message was addressed. Hundreds of thousands of people read this letter and helped spread it. A few days later, Jennifer said that the parents of a classmate immediately reacted to her appeal and talked to their son.
As a result, Savier received a special invitation to a birthday party that instantly made him the happiest boy in the world. “He can’t stop talking about it,” Mom wrote. Savier Angele is far from being the only child who has proven that children with Down syndrome can study in a regular school without any problems.
The act of Jennifer Angela will seem to many as something unpleasant: the woman seemed to have violated an unspoken taboo by publicly pointing out the unfair treatment of her son. She was not afraid to break the silence, to talk about something unpleasant, knowing full well that this silence, like an insurmountable wall, turns thousands of people around the world into outcasts.