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kids with disability

Heather Avis said she "could count on one hand" the amount of times her daughter Macy had received party invitations.

Macy Avis, a 9th-grader with Down Syndrome, had a reaction to receiving a birthday party invite that was so pure and joyous that it quickly went viral on Instagram.

Heather Avis, Macy’s mom, wrote in the video’s caption that she could “count on one hand the amount of birthday parties” that Macy had been invited to throughout her childhood.

Understandably, when a friend from Macy’s life skills program handed her an invitation, her joy was “palpable.”

“To me it spoke of a longing fulfilled. All I could do was laugh with her and then cry as I celebrated with her,” Avis wrote.

In the video, we hear the proud mom say, “You got invited to a birthday party?” followed by absolute squeals of delight from Macy.


Macy and her mom weren’t the only ones feeling celebratory. So many viewers chimed in to share their own joy at the news, and offer some encouragement.

“Thank you for sharing this wonderful moment with us! I got goosebumps listening to the glee in Macy’s voice. I am so incredibly happy for her and can’t wait to hear all about the amazing time she’s bound to have!” one person wrote.

Another declared, “This is the best thing on the whole internet."

The birthday party invite is the result of Avis’s “fight” to find inclusive spaces for her daughter, a journey she noted has “only just begun” in a pinned Instagram post.

Avis explained up until recently how Macy was in general education, where they had experienced some “amazing inclusive classrooms,” but still overall “felt a longing for belonging.” This led Macy to joining a life skills program with other disabled students, where she has been able to nurture a solid community—complete with birthday invitations.

As for how that party went, this follow-up video speaks for itself:

Along with celebrating Macy’s victory, Avis used the moment to note that “the party was inclusive not because a student in the general education program invited Macy, but because a person with an intellectual disability invited both disabled and non-disabled individuals. It was inclusive because people like Macy and the young man we were celebrating, who are often excluded, truly understand how to include others. Let’s reflect on that for a moment!”

While it’s important that students with Down Syndrome are placed in environments with the resources they need, not including them into the general community doesn’t help break through the stigma they regularly face—including being treated as children even when they are adults, or assuming they are entirely dependent. This was an issue recently tackled in the “Assume I Can” ad starring Madison Tevlin.

Moreover, Avis added that prioritizing diversity and inclusion offers the “beautiful gift” of “recognizing our shared humanity” among those who might at first seem different from us. That’s why she continues advocating for both her daughter and the Down Syndrome community through her The Lucky Few Foundation and podcast.