“It’s not nice to see your child isolated and left out”
Mum Emma has a six-year-old, Cody, who is on the pathway for an autism diagnosis, and goes to a mainstream school with the support of a one-to-one teaching assistant.
“He’s such a loving, affectionate, bright, and knowledgeable boy but Cody finds socialising and trying to make friends really difficult. He lacks the social skills.
“We’re not really ever invited to birthday parties. We may get an invite once or twice a year. The hard thing is when he sees a child giving out invitations and he doesn’t get one. It happens a lot, and then they talk about the party and it makes him feel so left out. It hurts. As a parent, it’s not nice to see your child isolated and I don’t get to spend the time with other mums.
“I do understand other parents might feel like they don’t know how to deal with difficult behaviour if they invited Cody, which is fair enough, but I’m always happy to be there. It just means children like mine don’t get included.”
Emma is not alone: In fact, 83% of families Family Fund support say they feel sad, left out and frustrated because only 12% of disabled or seriously ill children are able to take part in the social activities they’d like to.
Emma says, “There’s another parent at school who is so understanding. She said to someone the other day, ‘Cody isn’t being naughty, he just works differently’ and just having someone else there to stand alongside me was really important.
“Cody also has a best friend and his mum always goes the extra mile to make sure he feels included with everything. They have some other friends whose children have disabilities, so they understand.
“It’s been really tough but Cody has about six friends in school now, so that’s a positive. I wish people would just put themselves in his position and think how it would feel for a six-year-old. It’s hard to find people in a similar situation who understand.”
Page last reviewed:
How your support makes a difference
Read our family stories to see how your support makes a huge difference to disabled and seriously ill children, and their families.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.