Skip to main content

Party Hearty

 For as long as I can remember, when #1's birthday came around,  he didn't want a party. He didn't care about being with people, so he always chose some piece of electronics. We knew that he would benefit from the electronics instead of wasting the money on a party where inevitably he would wind up in the corner not engaging anyone.

Last year was a remarkable breakthrough for him. Two months before his birthday, we asked him the same question we did every year, "do you want a party or do you want electronics?" The answer was always some game, game system, or computer related item, so I waited for the expected answer.  And that is when he surprised me and said "a party." What? Did I hear that right?   Kids with Autism often answer with the last choice they are offered. So over the next few weeks, I asked him the same question phrased differently: "Do you want a party or an XBox?"  and then reversed the order. For four weeks straight, the answer was always "party", so he got a party. I attached a little note to the invitation explaining that he had autism and we invited the parents to come. 14 of his classmates showed up and some even chose his party over other commitments. It was an amazing party and he played with his friends and loved it. Watching him with his classmates, he blended. He didn't flap, he didn't stand out. He was just a kid having fun and it was awesome.

And this year, I asked him the  same question. "do you want a party or......." and before I could even finish the sentence, he answered, "party."Well, ok then. And then he asked, "Mom, can I have Just Dance 2014, too?" In my mind, I was saying, "YES, YOU CAN HAVE WHATEVER YOU WANT!! YOU USED YOUR WORDS!!!!" But I have been trying to get out of that mode, so I told him he could ask for gift cards and buy it with them. And with him, that is he ONLY present he wants. That is all that is required: a party and that game.

 What is great about #1, is that his disposition makes not caring about him impossible. His classmates are all tuned into him and on some level love that he is happy just being him. He sings and dances when he feels like it and is immune to others around him. He is happy in his head and it is contagious.

This year, we are returning to Ms. Becky's bounce house for another great party. It will be exciting and awesome, but knowing that this is his last year in elementary school makes me a little sad because this is the end of the class party era and he has only just started seeing the value in them. Once he hits middle school, it will be a different world.



But, I'm not going to worry about that now.
I have a party to plan and it is going to be awesome.










Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Diary of a music mom

Since fifth grade, both #1 and #2 have been playing instruments; #1, the saxophone and #2, the trombone. #1, Autism classic, plays the very same saxophone that I started on in fifth grade. I  teach him daily and we go once a week to our new sax teacher and they work on jazz. #2, the aspy is a lot more autonomous and he doesn't require my attention when he practices and gets by with his weekly skype lessons from grandpa and his private teacher.

Every year, our school district hosts a solo and ensemble festival. The kids have roughly eight weeks to choose a listed piece and then perform it with an accompaniment. Every year, I make the boys participate even though it means I need to spend more time with #1 to make sure he doesn't sound like a moose in the wild and more like a saxophone player.

It always turns out like this:
I choose the new piece and we trudge through it slowly and painfully.
I second guess my choice because I think it's too much, too hard, too intricate for …

My Heart Will Go On

At the end of the school year, the teachers usually host an event to give thanks to the many parents who helped out during the school year. When I went to #1's school, they had an elaborate spread and the highlight was when the sign language club performed a few songs.  #2 & #3's school, had their volunteer appreciation breakfast last week, and I was happy that I was able to bring the twins with me.

Everything was great. There was food, coffee, juice and some awesome moms. But, then the music teacher brought in the fourth grade class and they were all holding their recorders. Great. One kid practicing the recorder at home is painful enough.  Forty kids playing recorder in a quasi-controlled group is just one way the music teacher can express her feelings about not getting any holiday presents or special accolades during teacher appreciation week. F-U people, I teach your talentless kids and it is a thankless and painful job.  I'm going to let you know how much I apprec…

World Autism Awareness Month: A Time To Focus On Our Similarities.

Tomorrow, April 2, is World Autism Awareness day. I thought about all the things I could say about awareness and then I realized that the people who read this blog know all this stuff. With the latest release from the CDC about the number of children diagnosed with Autism now at 1:68, there will be a day that everyone will know or be related to someone with Autism. And unfortunately,  It is only when something affects everyone is when things will change.

I decided to re-share excerpts from my post: We're More alike than you think. The post was inspired by Willman Stillman and my self-observations. Everyday I look at my children and realize I have more Autistic qualities that I realized. I have also realized that it not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe melting and throwing myself on the ground if I can't find my keys may be over-doing it a bit, but many things are really a core part of me; like my ability to memorize information. It comes in handy on Black Friday for sure.