Harry Brinkworth, who is celebrating his 11th birthday today, was cheered up by complete strangers after he was told by classmates that they could go to his birthday because their parents didn’t like him
A boy with autism who was snubbed by his classmates for his party invites has had the ‘best birthday ever’.
Harry Brinkworth, who is 11 today, received hundreds of birthday cards from well-wishers after children in his class turned down his birthday invitations.
The youngster was left sobbing after classmates said ‘their parents did not like him’ and would not go to his party.
Harry’s mum Hannah Brinkworth, 31, decide to take to Instagram to try and cheer up her son after the cruel incident.
She asked members of the public to send him a birthday card to make his birthday special.
This morning Harry woke up to almost 300 cards from kind strangers across the world wishing him a great birthday, with possibly even more in the post.
Mum Hannah is also organising him a bowling birthday party after she was approach by other parents saying their children wanted to celebrate his 11th birthday with him.
When asked what he thought of the hundreds of cards and messages that he had received, Harry said: “It was the best birthday I have ever had.”
Hannah was initially upset by the way he was treated but has since been blown away by the response of complete strangers.
She wanted to raise awareness of autism and to give her son something to make his birthday.
“We’re not doing it for any kind of pity party, and we don’t want people to buy or send expensive things,” she added.
Hannah Brinkworth / SWNS)
“It’s just a case of making people aware of it and making a little boy’s day.”
Harry has been receiving the cards since December 1 when Hannah posted on Instagram with some coming from people as far away as New Zealand.
He was “so excited” to read all the nice messages.
Hannah said: “It was special for him, and he enjoyed it – he just wanted to read every single one of them like a book.
“Everybody was referring to him as a superhero and saying that he’d done such a positive thing.
“He had a card from Dubai and a card from Texas, and also one from somebody in Canada and New Zealand.”
All of the excitement made Harry very happy, but he also has understood the importance to be inclusive and kind towards others.
Hannah said: “He understands the bigger picture of it, and he knows why it’s important and it’s not just him.
“After today, the conversation will continue and so it should – that’s the important part.
“With autism, people are almost scared to have the conversation and scared to bring it up, but we shouldn’t be – we should celebrate our kids regardless.
“There’s been so many people reaching out and sharing similar experiences.”
Every birthday, Hannah tries to organise a birthday for Harry but none of the children every come.
She said that it is usually the parents and not the children who do not want to go, and that there needs to be a change in attitude in how parents talk about children who may have additional or special education needs.
Hannah continued: “Harry is autistic, and we’ve known for a long time, and he’s not a bad kid in any way.
“He always wants birthday parties, but historically, every year we try to sort one and nobody comes.
“I mentioned to him that I needed to know what friends he wanted to come to his party so I could send invites.
“He said two names, but when I asked again he said they weren’t allowed to come.
“I said I didn’t understand, and he turned around and, at 10-years-old, said one had told him their mum doesn’t like him and they can’t play with him.”
She said: “I found it absolutely baffling – it’s not the kids’ issue, it’s the parents’ lack of understanding about Harry’s issues.
“It’s not discussed enough how parents talk about kids with additional needs or SEN issues, and they don’t understand the impact of what they say in front of their kids, which is then repeated – it’s unacceptable.”
She added: “The amount of people who have kids with autism or ADHD who have said similar things, it shows that it’s not kids who are the issues, it’s the grown-ups.”