‘My autistic sons are never invited to birthday parties – It’s soul

A mum has revealed how “soul destroying” it is to see her children excluded from their friends’ birthday parties due to their autism.

Kathrine Peereboom has three boys, Oliver, seven, Joshua, six, and Tyler, four, who are all autistic and are non-verbal, which she says makes it hard for them to express themselves

Kathrine, who is CEO of Spectrum Support, opened up about how devastating it can be to watch how kids’ – who don’t understand their condition – treat them, on kidspot.com.au.

In a moving piece for the website, she explained that her sons are often excluded from birthday party invites, but what’s worse is that when the boys invite their school friends’ to their party often no one turns up.

It’s devastating to see kids be so cruel to her boys
(Image: Kathrine Peereboom)

Kathrine said: “Kids often don’t understand special needs children and it’s strange to them and it can be startling. It’s soul destroying.”

She wonders whether if people knew more about autism they would be more inclined to make an effort to understand why they react differently to different scenarios.

Kathrine went on to say how simple things like haircuts are a constant struggle because her three boys all have comorbidities and sensory processing disorders, so “anything hair related has been a huge challenge.”

Having their haircut is a struggle
(Image: Kathrine Peereboom)

After years of slow encouragement, her younger two, Joshua and Tyler have come a long way from being terrified of getting their haircut, to tolerating it whilst grumbling and crying.

“Quite frankly, I’m surprised our neighbours haven’t called the police, because from the outside it must seriously sound like we are torturing them!”

Kathrine mentioned a recent trip to the hairdressers where Tyler experienced a sensory overload.

Five minutes in he began to scream and cry, so she led him out of the salon to console him which was when she overheard a loud comment from an elderly gentleman and his wife who were sitting next door at the café complaining how he had to withstand the noise the entire time.

She said: “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.

“My boys are young, so at this time they are unaware of how cruel people are being towards them.

“One day they will notice, and I hope to god I have given them the necessary skills to deflect the negativity.”

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