As 17yr old Dd and the mythical party

(17 Posts)
merlincat Thu 21-Mar-13 13:58:00

My girl has mild HFA (High functioning Aspergers) and is very shy. Having had a horrible, lonely time at school she is in her first year at 6th form college and is much happier. She has a few friends at college and is with a lovely crowd in the Additional Support unit. She still socialises very little but would dearly love to; she just finds it so hard to suggest anything. I told her that I would be happy for her to have a party at our house for her birthday. Her birthday was last November and she has still not plucked up the courage to arrange it! I'm aware that I nag her pretty relentlessly about this so my question is- should I just back off? She wants this party as a way to get further invites and to open things up for her socially - do I keep up the pressure or let her do it in her own time?

mindfulmum Thu 21-Mar-13 21:52:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

merlincat Thu 21-Mar-13 22:17:22

Thanks for your lovely reply. I think you're right that the socialising may be as much my issue as hers, and I definitely agree about the sensory overload and the need for down-time at home. Food for thought, thank you.

Hassled Thu 21-Mar-13 22:20:21

I think let her do it in her own time - sounds like she's doing really well and I think any 17 year old, HFA or not, would be wobbly about organising a party - it's a load of responsibility and there's that dread no one will show up, it won't be fun etc etc. So her reaction/lack of action is probably very normal - it is a daunting thing for anyone to organise.

I agree, please stop mentioning it to her as I imagine she might find the whole idea daunting. The prospect of organising a party, potential for rejection, responsibility for success would phase me let alone your DD.
It sounds to me as though she has found a little niche and is happy there. Try not to put pressure on her.

merlincat Fri 22-Mar-13 11:47:49

Thanks all, I think I needed to hear that. My stuff, not hers.

Catsdontcare Fri 22-Mar-13 11:56:53

Yes I think back off the idea for now, I would help her find ways of developing more low key social events with well chosen and trusted friends. One or two strong friendships is worth far more than the complexities of a large circle of friends.

Merlin, I could have written the first 2 sentences of your OP, except I have a DS who is now happily settled in 6th form. He seems to get on fine with all his classmates now after years of bullying ('all the knobbers have left mum!') but he has no social life whatsoever outside school. I know he misses his old friends (we moved here 4 years ago) but he will not do anything about making new ones.

I asked his opinion about your DD's situation and he said that as someone with HFA, his fear of having invitations rejected (especially face-to-face) and/or people not turning up to the party would be far far worse than the stress of actually organising and running the event. He also commented that a 'party' sounds like his idea of hell (parties in his world seem to involve 'rents gone for the night and lots of booze and illicit substances ), and said he would prefer to go and see a daft film with a couple of friends followed by a really nice meal out.

I feel your pain though. sad I have tried everything. I have explained that he needs to be proactive about friendships, I suggest groups and clubs inside and outside school and I encourage him to use Facebook but he just won't (or can't) do it. Whenever friends pop up to say 'hi' on FB Live Messaging, he responds with irritation because they are interrupting whatever crap forum or YouTube video he is looking at. I suspect he doesn't miss close friendships in the way an NT person would.

It's so difficult when you can no longer engineer their social lives. I have friends who complain they never ever see their teens because they are always out, or else their house is overrun by crowds of youngsters, and it breaks my heart.

LapsedPacifist I think you have my son smile

Cooroo Fri 22-Mar-13 16:59:45

I loathed having parties as a teenager. My best friend and my mum would organise it all together and I'd just treat it as someone else's. That sense of responsibility - it will be all my fault if it doesn't go well. I'm still the same TBH!

merlincat Mon 25-Mar-13 19:53:21

Up-date: she has now arranged it. About 12 teens coming, all from this little group she's recently met. Please god let it be a success!( Lapsed-I've pm-ed you, check your inbox for a blast from the past!)

Cooroo Tue 26-Mar-13 07:45:52

She's a brave girl. I hope she has a wonderful time, it will boost her confidence.

merlincat Tue 26-Mar-13 22:15:34

Thanks all.

febel Wed 03-Apr-13 12:15:46

I hope the party went/goes well. My youngest (and by far my most challenging unfortunately) daughter at age 15, nearly 16, won't even have friends round let alone have a party. She isn't diagnosed with anything but is very very un-empathetic, mouthy, moody, (typuical teenager altho not in my experience as others weren't like her) gets hysterical about anything like exams or changes in plans...and will not have friends round ...and for the past few years has not celebrated her birthday with friends really as she does not want to organise anything and doesn't want me to as she worries too much if people will turn up/if they will be bored etc etc...this extends organising any social activity with friends outside the house except for her boyfriend. Even when her boyfriend is round at ours they do nothing except watch tv or the pc and she shows off and tries to make us look stupid and inferior, which makes his visits awkward and unpleasant (he is a very nice lad, it's her behaviour which is the problem)

I feel it's more my problem, that I feel she should be socialising. Her 16th will prob be spent the same as her other birthdays, with family and no friends (except for boyfriend) My neice, who is HF Asergers is the same to be fair. I think your daughter is being very brave and I hope it goes well for her and boosts her confidence.

merlincat Wed 10-Apr-13 10:03:19

Update: the party was lovely, everyone turned up and Dd had a great time; a real confidence booster. Turns out she's quite popular!

Cooroo Wed 10-Apr-13 14:19:52

I love a happy ending. Well done all concerned!

DontSHOUTTTTTT Wed 10-Apr-13 22:58:21

That's great news.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now