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Today both of the boys were invited to a birthday party.

In fact, it was one of Tristan’s friends. They extended the invitation to Xavier, as well, however.

That’s why this party is so special.

It is the second friend party they have both gone to.

It means the world to us.

Inclusion is definitely not anywhere near the longest word in the dictionary, but as a special needs parent, the value of this word holds a vast amount of importance.

RELATED: It’s Hard to Be on the Special Needs Parenting Journey, But You Won’t Be Alone

The act of inclusion is just that: including everyone, regardless of abilities. It is also knowing person may or may not be interested in coming. Also, it means if they do decide to give it a go, it may be just for a short while.

A lot of people don’t realize the significance of a simple invitation.

It’s knowing that the option is still there for you and that you are included.

Tristan enjoyed the entire two hours with his friend. They played many games: skeeball, pinball, table hockey, and more. He sang happy birthday, had treats, and won prizes.

Xavier made it 20 minutes. He wasn’t interested in the rides or the games, but he did have the chance to at least try.

He was given that opportunity.

RELATED: Don’t Be Afraid to Talk to Your Children About My Child With Special Needs

Tristan’s friend’s mom happens to be Xavier’s former therapist, so it’s special that Tristan and her son have hit it off so well.

For those of you who didn’t realize the importance of a simple invitation, I hope you have a newfound realization of what it means to me.

To us.

To those who may not otherwise be included.

I hope this viewpoint helps you get a different perspective.

Just send an invitation.

It means more than you know.

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Nicole Willard

I am Nicole Willard, mother of two girls ages 23 and 20 and two boys ages 4 and 9. I have one Heavenly granddaughter. I reside in Indiana with my husband, Michael, who I have been with for over 10 years. Both of my sons are neurodivergent. My 9-year-old has autism and ADHD among other diagnoses, and my 4-year-old has ADHD. I love nature walks, true crime podcasts, and art. I am a fierce advocate for inclusion and finding the silver linings in everything. 

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