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Ok - so now have joined the club. Of DS not being invited to birthday party.

(51 Posts)
kiwimumof2boys Thu 13-Feb-14 07:34:48

OK, Have been on MN a while, and I know this issue has been discussed before, but want to add my own experience and hopefully get some hand holding! DS1 who is nearly 6 and is doing well at school, despite a few minor issues as he is mildly autistic. I am very proud of him. He has made a few friends, is not an out going kid, so was never expecting him to have a whole load. But thats fine. Anyway, last year, he was talking about a friend, J, he played with at lunchtime, who was in a different class, and the start of this year (I'm in NZ, the new school year, new classes etc started last week), he was thrilled that J was in his class. I met J's mum who was like 'oh J was talking about kiwiDS1 all over Xmas holidays, he really values him' blah blah. Which was nice to hear. Great. Also, J's mum is doing a PhD is educational psychology so I said a little (not a lot) about DS1's autisim, which she was interested in as it's her field of study.

So today, J and his mum come into class before school, and J starts handing out birthday party invitations to a few kids - but not Ds1. I had to leave but was a bit hmm that he had to bloody do that before school (school requests - quite sensibly imo - that invites not be given out at school). It was clear DS1 would not get an invitation. Luckily I managed to distract DS1 and them I had to leave, but I'm feeling a little sad for his sake.

I know theres been about a thousand threads about this, and a lot of you have experienced it ! just feeling a bit down esp as DS1 doesn't have many friends. And I know the MN rules - Do not confront mother, teacher or discuss party with any other parents.
Anyway, wise MN-etters any pearls of wisdom would be muchly appreciated !

kiwimumof2boys Thu 13-Feb-14 07:36:21

Also - to add I don't think it's a case of every kid in the class being invited and DS1 being the only one left out.

OwlinaTree Thu 13-Feb-14 07:40:05

Maybe because the other mum knows he's ASD she thinks he won't want to come due to noise, lots of people etc. She might have read a bit about ASD and jumped to conclusions.

LingDiLong Thu 13-Feb-14 07:40:36

Oh dear, I'm amazed that an Educational Psychologist could be so bloody thoughtless as to hand them out in front of everyone. Discretion costs nothing. Clutching at straws but could it be an activity that you have specifically stated he might struggle with due to having autism?

thewalrus Thu 13-Feb-14 07:41:48

Just a thought, if the mum knows a bit about autism, is it possible she thinks that a party would be a source of anxiety/difficulty for your DS? Maybe she's trying to be considerate (though obviously not succeeding!)?

Horrid for you, and maybe DS though. Sorry you're having to deal with it.

tealady Thu 13-Feb-14 07:42:02

Its so hard to see when your child is hurt by friendship issues that you have no control over. How about planning a nice treat at the same time as the 'missed party' so that your son feels he has something better to do anyway.

turningvioletviolet Thu 13-Feb-14 07:45:46

Meaning this in the nicest possible way, you're going to have to toughen up about it. You can't do anything about it and it will happen again. I say that as the mother of 3 dcs (all NT if that's of any interest and now aged 17,13 and 7) who over the years have not been invited to hundreds of parties of children i would have considered close friends at the time. I see it as money saved and if they asked i just said you can't invite everyone.

RawCoconutMacaroon Thu 13-Feb-14 07:48:48

My DS was excluded from parties and social events all through primary school. He has Aspergers, and is a bright, sociable (on his own terms) and loud boy.
I always got the impression it was the parents, not the kids who didn't want him around.

On the plus side, he typical didn't notice this was happening, but I did!

Now a teen, he's got a small group of proper friends and they go to the cinema and other social stuff - big step forward for him, I suppose he has far fewer "acquaintance" type friends than a NT person, but the 4or5 friends he has, are real, true friends.

From my experience, it's much easier from the age of about 13or 14 when a bit of maturity starts to kick in, and when they start to follow their own academic interests at school smile.

lljkk Thu 13-Feb-14 07:50:20

It happened to DS about the same age, no SN involved, DS was so disappointed.
We were really rather used to it by then, though, that DS never invited to anything, so probably more gut wrenching for me than him. Might be good if you find out where and when the party is, so that you don't walk in by accident on the same afternoon (yes, we've done that too).

DS went onto become best friends with the same boy soon after, and for many years thereafter! His Mum very nice person, just didn't think it thru very well that day. DS also had a good 2 yrs for parties the following 2-3 yrs (not much by Mn standards, but still 5-6 invites each yr).

claraschu Thu 13-Feb-14 07:52:56

In my experience, psychologists are certainly NOT more considerate than other people.

That is mean, and the only comfort is that sometimes young kids are not as sensitive to this as their parents are.

lunar1 Thu 13-Feb-14 07:54:02

That is horrible, an educational psychologist doing this knowing the full story ring a alarm bells for me. Even if she had a valid reason to exclude your son she is educated enough to have been discreet. It sounds like she has been purposefully nasty.

kiwimumof2boys Thu 13-Feb-14 07:54:16

Thanks for all your repiles !
Re the autisim, I didn't really go into it - just that it's mild, and that he can handle the majority of situations (school, social stuff etc) and the mum said she it must've been very mild as he has looked her in the eye and had a conversation with him.So not sure if it is autisim? might be. But think it would be a bit of an over reaction on her part. But you never know, I guess some people think things differently.

Ling yes that's what made me so annoyed! as it is clear school policy (and common sense) not to hand them out in class ! J, the kid was going up to kids, giving them an invite and then going to his mum 'I just gave an invitation to Sally/John etc.' Grr. Luckily i was able to move DS1 to another part of classroom quickly.

DH suggested that maybe he only invited kids that were in his class last year as he'd already been to their parties. Ah well. Thanks for your responses, and I am so glad that being on MN for a few years has helped me with the minefield that are kids' parties !

fideline Thu 13-Feb-14 08:02:46

This happened a few times to my DS who has ASD. Not nice sad.

One of the primary schools my DC attended had a rule that invitations, christmas cards etc must not be handed out in class or playground. Instead the whole bundle had to be handed to the class TA who discreetly slipped them in bookbags.

Doesn't completely solve the problem but it helps. Might be worth suggesting?

Jackthebodiless Thu 13-Feb-14 08:12:57

Well, let me share with you an experience which still makes me go hot/cold at the thought many years later.

Ds handed out invites to the whole class in primary school. On the day one child, nice little boy called H, didn't turn up. Wonder where H is, we all said. Fast forward to end of the week, clearing out book-bag, found H's invite squashed under the detritus at the bottom of the bag. Me and ds looked at each other in horror, and I must say I felt like crying.

The next day in the playground we explained and apologised to H and his mum, and took H with us on a special day out at the weekend. I just couldn't bear the thought of little H thinking he was the only one not invited.

Just wanted to point out that horrible misunderstandings do happen.

pixiepotter Thu 13-Feb-14 08:52:13

When it's the whole class bar one in my experience it's an oversight.It happened once to DS2 who later got a thankyou letter for a present at a party he had never been invited to!
The biggest pearl of wisdom I can give you is that it is always a lot lot more hurtful to the parent than the child.If you don't make an issue then it won't be an issue for your DC

Oblomov Thu 13-Feb-14 09:05:26

I agree with op's dh.
If party boy had just started to make friends with op's ds, then this is not yet an established friendship.
And if mum is only inviting a few friends, she will invite established friends, boys from his same class last year, boys who had invited her son to their parties.
I understand/ can guess, why ops ds was not invited. ( my ds1 has mild Aspergers).

jennifleurs Thu 13-Feb-14 09:14:44

I too was hurt when this first happened to DS. I think it says a lot about how we personally deal with rejection (I don't deal well, daddy issues etc) and I felt more upset than he did I think.

Now I understand it's a case of you can't invite everyone and children's friendships can sometimes be incredibly fickle. Even boys. There's one boy who has behaviour problems and has been on restricted school hours for a whole due to his disruptive and aggressive outburst (OP not suggesting your LO is anything like this boy just giving example) and he and LO have been friends since nursery.

I invited this boy to 2 of DS' parties and never will again. Even though he goes to the other boys parties, I won't allow him to ruin another birthday party for my son. It's harsh I know, but I plan and save for so long for them.

I know I felt bad when I didn't include him (and other children) on invitations, but you do have to draw the line somewhere.

cory Thu 13-Feb-14 09:17:38

If it's only a few kids then it may not be anything to do with his ASD: it could be that they are short of space/money/their ds doesn't like big crowds, so that he is only inviting a few special friends. We always did that.

You say yourself that you think it was this kind of party: I think you want to be careful not to assume that everything is to do with his SN. If it was a select party, then there will be other kids who weren't invited either: it would be a bit odd if a dozen parents contacted the family to find out why they weren't invited.

If the whole class was invited then yes, I agree and I know that happens and I would be very upset. That is quite simply rude and unkind.

But to assume, as another poster has done, that you are being purposefully nasty just because you can't afford/find the energy to hire a hall and feed 30 kids (+ any relatives and friends from elsewhere)- well, it's a bit tough on those of us who struggle for one reason or another.

It is also the case that some parents choose small select parties because it gives them a chance to avoid some other child who is bullying theirs for reasons that have nothing to do with SN. After all, when it's my birthday I invite a few special friends; I wouldn't choose to invite somebody who had knocked me down and called me names; I wouldn't even choose somebody I wasn't intimate with because we happened to be in the same workplace.

I insisted for a long time that ds had to invite a couple of local boys who had been friends with his in infants. No SN- but they used to fight all the time and push each other onto things that would then break and ds quite simply didn't like them. Eventually he called me on that and pointed out how unfair it was that he had to spend all his birthdays policing these boys, seeing his stuff ruined and his new friends intimidated, when I could choose my own friends out of people I got on with.

I couldn't possibly have invited all his other friends and excluded these two, that would have been horrible. So the alternative was to tell him that he could only have 5 or 6 friends, making the number low enough for nobody to feel exluded. (in fact, I had to limit numbers anyway, small house and no transport to get to venues)

twinkletoedelephant Thu 13-Feb-14 09:25:28

Dt2 class is made up of alot of children that went to one nursery all parents know each other and have done for years and he only gets invited to dt1 classmates parties as nursery mums invite the kids they know the parents of...

The teacher tries hard to get them to integrate the other children 6 of 30 but in his learning book at parents evening there was a note that made me so sad....

Dt1 tries hard to play with other children and starts conversations about the play and will answer for others when they don't respond.. basically he is talking to himself sad

I am hopefull next year the classes will get mixed up more and he will stand a fighting chance of getting a friend

We invited 60 kids both classes to dt's party 1 Mum text me to check we ment to invite her child.... He has some problems he is on as and has bowel issues and of course we ment to invite him he had a fab time and I thought it odd she would text to check but he had never been invited to a birthday party before and she didn't want him turned away at the door

RawCoconutMacaroon Thu 13-Feb-14 09:32:22

Kiwi, my DS even as a young child could meet and hold peoples gaze (although not when stressed), laughs, smiles has a lot of humour (not always typical humour).

He could also "do" the Sally- Ann test at the normal age.

There is a lot of misunderstanding even amongst professionals about how Autistic people "should" behave! A child can have quite significant social impairments while appearing on a superficial level to to quite NT.

We certainly had a lot of problems at primary school (with the HT) because DS did not behave in the same way as a child with autism who was almost non verbal. HT was convinced (and said so) that DS was "just badly behaved as he was not like this other boy"!

kiwimumof2boys Thu 13-Feb-14 23:14:13

Hi again, thanks for all your replies.
Well went in this morning and DS1 and J were playing with some others, J's mum was there and I was talking to another mum. I was then getting ready to leave when i saw another mum say in a stage whisper to J's Mum 'X would love to come to come to J's party!'
Anyway, just to make a few things clear - DS1 has never (to my knowledge) bullied/annoyed other children the way some SN kids do, or been bullied himself (and I made it clear to the teacher to let me know asap if anything like that ever happened so could deal with it).
Ah well. Thanks for your comments, I just need to vent a bit as I live in a small suburb and don't want to gossip, as it gets around here pretty quickly. Saves me buying a present I guess !
Also noticed with glee that J's mum was wearing very short shorts today and she has rather large thighs and they looked hideous. Not that I would ever notice anything like that or think bitchy thoughts. Not me. Never!

fluffypillow Thu 13-Feb-14 23:39:28

Oh kiwi I've been in your situation with my two boys, and no doubt have it all to come again with my little girl. It's so hurtful, and people can be so thoughtless.

fluffypillow Thu 13-Feb-14 23:41:29

Love the 'thigh' comment btw, brilliant grin

Jinty64 Thu 13-Feb-14 23:43:40

Also noticed with glee that J's mum was wearing very short shorts today and she has rather large thighs and they looked hideous. Not that I would ever notice anything like that or think bitchy thoughts. Not me. Never!

It may, of course, be nothing to do with your ds. It may be you she doesn't like. It's a childs birthday party, you need to get a grip or he wont have any friends. Did you ask J to your ds's party?

Adeleh Fri 14-Feb-14 00:00:14

Just wanted to hand hold. It's rotten. But things do often get much easier as they get older. I never imagined pre-children how much time I'd spend being upset about friendships on their behalf xxx

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