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Invited to his first birthday party

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  • Invited to his first birthday party

    Alex and I are so happy as he has been invited to his first birthday party (aside from relatives.) Admittedly I am a bit nervous. He is socially quirky but can be off the wall hyper and impulsive and doesn't always transition out of activities well.

    He wants me to stay with him (anxiety) but I'm not sure if that will be the norm. When I rsvpd it was a voice mail. Should I call back and talk to the mom to let her know of my plans to stay? This is a 7th birthday party. Any other words of advice?

  • #2
    I don't know how much this will help you, but my 7 yo dd just had her first sleepover (besides being at a relatives house) this past Friday. She's been to this friends house on multiple occasions, but every time she always asks me to stay until she gets comfortable. That usually takes about 10 seconds, but I digress. LOL Anyhow, if you didn't want to stay for the whole birthday party maybe stay long enough to make sure your ds is comfortable and you can see he is transitioning to things well. I don't know how your son is, but both of my girls act so much better if I'm not around and they know someone else is in charge. If you feel you need to call back and let the mom know you'll be sticking around for a bit, by all means do it, but it really shouldn't be a problem and I'm sure she would be thankful for the extra hand if your son does need you.

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    • #3
      I agree with Sherry, I am sure the Mother would be fine to have you there.

      I can only speak for my family and my son, and I know I would need to be there for my son.
      Only you know Alex the best Melissa so follow your heart.


      Someone wrote this to me once and it comes to mind to pass along here to you..she is talking here in regaurds to playdates and socail issues.....
      This woman is full of support to me.

      You have to endure the pain of watching him struggle and get those
      bumps and bruises, but you are not powerless or helpless in the
      situation. There are many things that you can do to ease his path. Be
      his Coach; help him figure out new strategies for dealing with social
      situations. Be his Interpreter; help him understand why people behave
      the way they do. Be his Counselor; let him lean on your strength when
      he gets exhausted, remind him (and yourself) that things change and
      this Now is not Forever. Be his Protector; stand up for him when he is
      attacked. Be his Cheerleader; help him to persist and to acknowledge
      his successes. Those things you can do, and it really does help.

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      • #4
        Oh that is so cool, thanks harmonicker!

        The mom called back because they forgot to put that it is a pool party on the invitation. My son loves to be in a pool and although he can swim, he has major anxiety about the pool. During my nephew's birthday parties all the boys play and Alexander stands on the elongated step and does his own thing. Of course he doesn't mind playing by himself, this is just how it goes.

        If there are less people in the pool, he tools around on a noodle. I asked if they had noodles and she said they didn't so I asked if I could bring one for Alexander and she said absolutely. I'm definitely sticking around now since it is a pool party. He's very extrinsically motivated so hopefully seeing his classmates swim around will give him the courage he needs to swim (like I mentioned, he knows how and is quite good at it hehe).

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        • #5
          i was thinking that maybe here and in the future, you could volunteer to be one of the adult helpers. that way, you are considered to be there to help out w/party things, extra eyes, etc, not so much to watch your son. this may put him at ease, so he can know you're there, but not b/c he "needs" his mom, and maybe ease your self-consciousness around other parents (IF you're feeling that way).

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          • #6
            Excellent idea Dedra!

            We went shopping for his birthday gift yesterday and Alexander is quite excited.

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            • #7
              How about, "Hey, looks busy, I'd be glad to stay and help keep an eye on everyone in the pool" or even offer to get in and brave the water with the kids, you'd be the cool mom

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              • #8
                Originally posted by melissa_h View Post
                Excellent idea Dedra!

                We went shopping for his birthday gift yesterday and Alexander is quite excited.
                Be sure to let us know how everything turns out Melissa

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                • #9
                  Okay now *I* am nervous. I'm shy but I'm hyper-social, if that makes sense (I'm likely teetering on the edge of having AS myself hehe). So I'm nervous about going to meet all kinds of people I don't know and then nervous about talking too much. I think I'm going to take a little Rescue Remedy before I go.

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                  • #10
                    take a bottle of water w/you. put a few drops of RR in it, and sip it at the party as needed. good luck and tell us how it went!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PaxMamma View Post
                      take a bottle of water w/you. put a few drops of RR in it, and sip it at the party as needed. good luck and tell us how it went!
                      Fantastic idea! Thanks

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                      • #12
                        Right there with you Melissa
                        Dedra has the right idea..I do this often and joke I could pull around an IV pole of RR with me all day

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                        • #13
                          I don't know whether to start the post with a *sigh* or a "thank heavens I decided to take one of my prescription anxiety meds". That kind of gives you an idea of how it went, right?

                          The party was great. In the middle of the party I asked him if we were going to have any problems leaving and he said no. I reminded him several times that the party was over at 5:30 and that we had to go pickup his sister so we couldn't stay later.

                          Presents were over at 5:28, I showed him the time, and he sprinted off to the trampoline. I followed and he begged for five more minutes so I told him OK and asked him what time it would be (by then it was 5:30) so he said 5:35. 5:35 comes and he gets totally belligerent - no, I'm not leaving, no. All the other kids got off the trampoline and he decided to as well. We got his shoes on and made it to the gate where he declared that he was staying and runs off to the other side of their 1 acre lot.

                          The mom comes over and offers to let him stay a little longer while I pick up Ava but I live 20 miles away and thanked her but told her it just wouldn't work. I managed to get Alex to stop walking so I could talk to him - as soon as I got close the fists and kicks started wailing.

                          Once he gets to this point I know that it doesn't get better until we are out of the situation. I whispered in his ear that I could carry him or he could walk. He refused to move so I picked him up under my arm and walked part of the way across the yard. The birthday boy's dad (who I had told previously about the Asperger's Syndrome) was walking towards us. I sat Alexander down to see if he would walk and instantly started to get pummeled again.

                          The dad said "hey hey hey" in a gentle manner and squatted down and deflected the blows. When Alexander realized he wasn't hitting me, he instantly stopped. The dad reminded him that we were planning on coming over another day to do this again. While Alex was hitting me I explained that this was part of his autism (I said that as opposed to AS as it is more readily understood) and he asked what he could do to help. I told him that exactly what he did was perfect, stop me from getting hit and distract him.

                          Alexander again refused to move but we were only like 15 feet from the gate, I knew once we got outside the gate he'd be fine - there was just too much going on, sensorily, in the area for him to regulate. Sure enough we get outside of the fence and he tells me he wants to walk and he won't run and sure enough he walked quietly by my side. About 20 feet later he stopped and declared that he was tired, he wasn't walking and I wasn't going to carry him. I took his hand and yelled "wheee" and kind of run dragging him behind me. He'd giggle but when I'd stop he'd realize he was giggling and get mad again. A few more "wheees" and we were to the car. He started to get mad again and I said "look at the peacock" and *poof* he was fine.

                          He got into the car and buckled his own seatbelt. I pointed out to him that he was just fine and calm and asked him why he had a meltdown. He couldn't answer. I cried on the way home because here I am in front of his classmates' parents being a "mean" mom carrying my "spoiled" child out of a party.

                          When I got to my parents' house, my mom talked to him. He said he didn't care that his friends saw him, etc but that he just couldn't stop. He said once it starts he doesn't know how to stop. My mom asked him why it stops when we get to the car (this happens after almost any event) and he said because he feels better where its quiet. My mom asked him about my carrying him and he said that it helps him, even though he's yelling and hitting me, it helps him get to his calm spot faster.

                          So I feel better about picking him up and carrying him. I am extremely sore right now as a result. It is not unusual for me to have to carry him in the middle of a meltdown. He's incoherent and makes no sense, he just makes a loud primal scream and kicks/hits/etc.

                          I know all the transition tricks of the trade and none work, none. I told him he's lucky he's so skinny and I can carry him because if he does the same thing at 10 I don't know what I'm going to do.

                          I know tonight we'll have lots of good cuddles in bed. I'm just exhausted. He had fun and while he didn't swim (he just stood on the stair) - he played really well with all the kids and did have a good time. I'm nervous about another party invitation though.

                          So, any other thoughts on ways to get a kicking and screaming child in the middle of a meltdown out of a situation aside from carrying them? I know that some people are going to read this and absolutely cringe but those of you with experience know that you have to get a sensory-sensitive child out of a situation that has him in a meltdown.

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                          • #14
                            melissa,
                            not cringing here, i TOTALLY get it. just want to send you some hugs right now. later, when i have time, i do have a couple ideas, i'll try to type then.

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                            • #15
                              aww Melissa..
                              You are a good Mamma
                              I have been there too, Ethan melts everytime we have to leave no matter how many times I give him time counts to alert him we are almost ready to go. He runs from me too or will cry. I do not get the punching and kicking from him, but I do from my daughter.

                              As a matter of fact, I got punched in the side of the head 3x this Saturday while trying to get her in the car seat at the HF store.

                              I think it is so heartwarming the Father of the party came to your aide. SO many times people stand by and do nothing -which can have it cons too if they do intervene- but this seemed to work for a minute and thankfully the Father was not harsh.

                              I would have handled it the same way as you giving him a choice if he wanted to walk or you to carry.

                              OK I have to go toy squabble...bbl

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