Its a birthday down folks! Birthday down!! My oldest son (also my ASD child, M, is now 8. Eight!! I feel old!! Or rather, more like I just can’t even believe he’s not five anymore! He can do things! Climb things! Write things! (when he wants to) Do math! Bathe himself even! Woot! :::deep breath here:::: And its such an incredible ride. I remember the day he was born, I remember his low apgard scores and how blue he was at first. I remember his first cry and how relieved we were! I remember how sweet and cuddly, and happy and content he was as a newborn infant. I remember how skinny he was! (and still is!!) I remember his first smile at me. He has done incredible things. He made me a mom! He taught me that having a child with special needs is not a traumatic situation. They are simply children – with different needs. He taught me that my patience can actually be extended, even when I think it can’t. He sees the world from a different perspective than neurotypicals, and now so do I, or at least I am learning to. I now know more about autism than I ever thought possible, and I don’t know nearly enough. I know what I can see – that his brain in some respect works faster in some areas and much slower in others. While he is not twice-gifted as some autistic children are, he has an incredible gift to see 3-D spatial perspectives in his head. He has a talent for math, but can’t always tell you how he got the answer. In any case, he has changed my world. We had his birthday at home this year and pretty much just had a big playdate in the backyard and then cupcakes and snacks inside. I don’t think we’ll ever be doing that again. LOL! It was fine, I feel like the children all had a good time just playing together, but I was so flustered. That evening I planned my two younger children’s birthdays at outside venues. I have deposits on the way, and I’ve already made guest lists. Not doing it at home again. When they were younger it was easier and cuter and less stressful, now that they’re older, I feel like there should be more organized activities or entertainment for such a larger group of children. The downside, for M, is that he doesn’t do well with large groups. When we sang happy birthday to him he screamed that it was too loud and went to hide under the chairs in the living room. O.o And I should have known that it might happen, and I wasn’t too surprised, I just thought that maybe since we were at home, where he is very comfortable, maybe the noise, etc wouldn’t be too much. He also hid in the bathroom twice during the party. So – maybe next year we’ll just take one friend with our family to do something special for the day like a children’s museum or a play space – maybe Sky High Sports? Oh well, I always feel like with M we try things and sometimes they work, like swimming lessons, and sometimes they don’t, like a birthday party. Still, he’s 8, he’s had the birthday, we celebrated, he got lots of gifts, he’s all set for the year. As a special needs parent, you win some and lose some. As a parent in general I suppose.
BTW!! There is a book that is helpful! Party Planning for Children on the Austism Spectrum (children through teenagers) available from Amazon and probably a gillion other places and I found it to be very helpful and enlightening! I may purchase it just to have it on hand. I just checked it out from the library this time, so if you’d like to look at it first that may be a good option if you have an ASD child or teen. Great advice for autistic teen parties too.
Be Fierce Anyway. Try something new!