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Redditor Sparks Family Drama After Not Allowing Their Non-Verbal Autistic Nephew To Attend Their Wedding

Redditor Sparks Family Drama After Not Allowing Their Non-Verbal Autistic Nephew To Attend Their Wedding
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When planning for a wedding, choosing who not to invite can be just as stressful as who to include.

The bride and groom are entitled to have their special day go smoothly, but leaving certain individuals off the list can inevitably lead to hurt feelings.

That is what Redditor "throwaway4weddingday" unfortunately discovered.

The Original Poster (OP) upset their family after declaring they didn't want their non-verbal autistic nephew "Johnny" at their big day.

The OP asked AITA (Am I the A**hole) for not allowing Johnny—who is known for constantly making "loud noises" in public—to be a part of the matrimonial celebration.

"If things are safe, we will get married in September. We want a small wedding," wrote the OP.

"We only want 25 couples (or 50 people). And because the wedding will be at a hall with an open bar we want everyone to be over 21."
"We invited my step-sister(shes 16 years older than me ) and her husband, but when we received the invite her plus one was my 23 year old autistic nephew."
"Not her husband. 'Johnny' my nephew has never spoken a word in his entire life. But he does make loud noises, constantly."
"He can't sit still and if they want to calm him he plays with a very loud fire truck."

Despite their affection for the nephew, the OP recalled an incident with Johnny that reinforced their decision.

"I love Johnny but my wedding is not where I want him. I remember about 8 years ago Johnny was at a wedding and yelled during the moment of silence."
"When his parents moved him outside you could still hear him."

The OP also mentioned a specific dress code that was not negotiable.

"Also Johnny ONLY wears baggy grey sweats. I want my guests to wear certain colors and grey is not one of them."

The decision was met with much indignation that could affect guest turnout.

"When I explained this to my stepsister she called me a terrible person. My friends support me but my family are refusing to come if Johnny is not invited."
"AITA in this situation?"

Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked to weigh in by declaring:

  • NTA - Not The A**hole
  • YTA - You're The A**hole
  • ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH - No A**holes Here

Those with first-hand knowledge of working and living with those on the Autism spectrum shared their opinions.

"NTA. As someone whose career has been centered around caring for those with developmental disabilities, I am all for inclusion."
"That said, dragging a severely autistic individual to an event where they will be uncomfortable and disruptive isn't fair to them."
"Your sister sounds as though she's putting her desire to be seen as a 'great mom' ahead of her child's comfort." – NUTmeSHELL
"My wife's sister is also severely autistic and it drives us insane her parents bring her to things like this. She hates these events."
"These people need stability and routine and a big event ruins that. Anything greater than a day-trip or a vacation specifically for the disabled child is going to be too much for everyone else."
"Her mom will always say stuff like 'Oh I want her to <normal thing>' and we have to keep reminding her that thing will never happen."
"Or even worse '<child> will be so sad.' She won't. She has no clue what is going on past the next five minutes."
"OP, this is about validating Johnny's mom. She wants to pretend he is normal for a day and he may make a human connection. She is willing to die on this hill (probably literally) as it is deeply, deeply rooted in her psyche." – BasicDesignAdvice
"NTA op, at the end of the day it's your wedding and you can invite/exclude who you want." – Morons_Are_Fun
"My nephew is high functioning autistic and still finds weddings uncomfortable."
"I can't imagine how bad it would be for someone who cant even express themselves." – cutepiku

This Redditor suggested the sister has plenty of time to arrange and prepare if she wanted to attend.

But she also should respect the couple's decision not to have Johnny there.

"This is May. She has until September to line up respite care."
"The couple who are to be married has the right to celebrate the event without potential disruption. If the mom cannot understand that she can certainly choose to stay home."
"I am not implying that she will then wrap herself in her armor of self congratulations about what a saint she is to give up attending an event and sacrifice herself for her child AT ALL." – NotAQuiltnB
"Yes, the parents of autistic children deserve a social life... but that doesn't mean every event must be available to them."
"She can catch the next one." – AClockworkProfessor
"Agreed. Weddings are about the bride and groom. Period."
"Not saying it's license for being a Bride- or Groomzilla, but that's not at all what's happening here."
"Sister is being selfish and unfair to Bride/Groom and to her child." – kittykatmax

This person implied that the focus of the wedding should not be upstaged by the sister's advocacy for inclusion.

"If that was the case there would be no reason to bring her child."
"She could RSVP as just one and her husband stays home because someone has to look after Johnny."
"She could even maybe invite a close friend to be her plus one in that type of situation if she had someone that knew her family."
"Unfortunately the biggest day of someone else's life is not the day to advocate for inclusion. It's not fair to ask the bride and groom to accommodate something so intrusive on their big day."
"If they weren't bothered the idea of the interruptions then they would have extended the invitation to Johnny in the first place." – kb709

It was a no-brainer for "FomoBear1," who wrote:

"This is OP's of the most important days of her life...and you actually think we should be focused on having empathy for her step-sister's situation?"
"Focused on the fact that the step-sister 'wants to get out of the house and mingle'?! This attitude is utterly mind boggling to me."
"You are absolutely NTA here OP, this is your wedding and it is the one day that actually IS all about you."
"I feel very strongly about this - I would also want my wedding to be focused on MY WEDDING and not an unwelcome guest that is distracting everyone else with loud, inappropriate noises. Your step-sister is being insanely selfish and unreasonable."
"Not just her child's comfort, but her sister's wedding as well."
"Sis is fine with disrupting and ruining someone else's wedding for mommy points. Autistic kids /adults are awesome and deserve inclusion but not at the expense of someone else's event."
"This isn't a birthday party, it's a wedding. If your adult autistic kid still plays with a large noisy fire truck, then he does not belong at an adult only wedding just because his biological years meet the definition of 21 and up." – itsadogslife71

Johnny's mother may have a difficult time taking this in, but the general consensus was her sister is entitled to have a memorable wedding without a preventable disruption.

*If you enjoyed this article, you can read more like it by clicking on the AITA link below.*