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Birthday parties for SN twins - LONG!

(10 Posts)
TalesOfTheUnexpected Sun 28-Aug-11 17:43:06

Ok, I'm looking for help/experience from anyone else who can relate to my dilemma.

I have twin boys who will be 7 in December. Both are Statemented, both attend a Special Needs School. They are the same class, which consists of about 8 pupils.

I also have a daughter (8) who is "normal", NT? She attends a different school with a class size of 30plus.

Twin 1 is desperate for a "proper" birthday party this year. He wants a Pizza Hut party like his sister had recently, or a soft-play party like she had the year before.

Problems:
- Twin 2 has many more problems than Twin 1. Parties and unfamiliar situations freak him out, massively.

- Even if I invite the whole class, I'm very doubtful if anyone would attend to the kind of party Twin 1 is proposing and he would be devastated. Twin 2 wouldn't care. I don't have any other friends/family to make up numbers.

- As it's a SN school, the twins get transported by Council Bus there and back, so there is no opportunity to meet and sound out the other parents in their class for opinions

It's a minefield. Although Twin 1 thinks he is normal, he's not, and he's questioning so many things like this now. I just don't know what to do.

Do I book a venue, invite the class and hope for the best?
Or explain to Twin 1 that it just can't be done?

The type of people in their class cannot be left at a party on their own. Many have complex needs (learning difficulties, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, wheelchair users). My own home is too small and Twin 1 wouldn't be happy with a party at home anyway.

Sorry it's an essay. Didn't want to drip-feed.

signandsmile Sun 28-Aug-11 18:21:43

just an idea, we hired the hydrotherapy pool for 'party', was only them, (up to 20 people) hoists, slopes floats etc, 1 hr swim, parents came in with their kids, so we had about 12 kids and 8 adults, mix of NT and SN, and they loved it and I gave them packed tea in cardboard lunch boxes from cash and carry, so I could differentiate what was on offer. Those who were dry quick ate theirs in the waiting room, others ate in the car on the way home. It cost us less than £60 for hire, food and all the going home pressies. (I refuse to do crappy party bags, so everyone got a book (book people less than £1 a book).

oodlesofdoodles Sun 28-Aug-11 19:43:59

Funnily enough we have just been to a SN twin's b-day party at a soft play centre. I guess the parents had discussed things with the organisers, as our party was a bit more subdued/simple than the 'normal' party going on in the next room.
Could you talk to the school and ask if they can suggest any suitable/sympathetic local venues? Are there any charity run disabled-friendly play centres near you? Or could you have it at school? We went to a birthday party recently at the child's mainstream nursery.
Some places you can hire out exclusively in the evening or at weekends.
You could take the twins along to the venue a couple of times before the party, so twin 2 gets familiar with it.
You can put in the invite that parents must attend. You could invite siblings too and ask your daughter if she wants to invite a couple of best friends. The parents may well enjoy it as a social for them as well. Good luck.

pleasestoplying Sun 28-Aug-11 20:50:19

Agree with oodles. There is a chance that parents will enjoy the opportunity to all meet and there are a few playcentres round here that are not only disabled-friendly but also have a SN sensory room within the soft-play building, so the sensory room could be used as much quieter space. Good luck.

Maryz Sun 28-Aug-11 21:01:39

If you can't have a big party specifically for him, would your dd share her party next time? Could you invite all her friends, take Twin 1 with you, and have a special cake for him (her friends are likely to be very understanding), leave Twin 2 with someone else for the day.

That way he gets his party, just not exactly on his birthday, iyswim.

Alternatively borrow nice children from dd's class, their parents and siblings. I know many people who would be happy to make up a party for him, provided he didn't mind that only a few of his classmates were there, and the numbers were made up of dd's friends.

coff33pot Sun 28-Aug-11 22:46:50

I know your house is small but do you have a garden? December is not such a good time for outside I know but if it was done in a fun way ie either hired a marqee and put it up like an extension from your back door or hired some tents, and link them? decorate some pasting tables and did pizza and salad just like pizza hut? and fill the tent with balloons then link another tent and hire a couple ball pools and a bubble machine,(you can actually buy them quite cheap for about a tenner) get some excercise balls that kids can bounce on. See if some parents would share/loan their trampolines for the day and decorate them outside for a bit of fresh air fun. Failing that hire a church hall or something and do it there. At least if at home Twin 1 can choose to join in for as long as he is able but retire to the house if it is too much for him.

There is plenty of time to write a letter to parents of their school and photocopy it onto some pretty paper explaining what you had in mind and see what sort of response you get. I suspect there might be some other children that find parties to overwhelming but might cope if they had a quiet retreat of a house to escape to smile

kennythekangaroo Sun 28-Aug-11 22:59:00

DS (severe cp) is at special school and had/went to several parties with the children there (all bussed in quite a distance so parties were miles away).

We had a lovely party at the local leisure centre, they put all their mats and soft play equipment out including ball pools and trampoline so there was an hour playing on that followed by 45 minutes eating in another room. We had the whole hall to ourselves and the children could do what suited them.

We also went to lots of parties with magicians/children's entertainers in halls. They will usually tailor the act a bit (eg no balloons/loud noises) and lots of slapstick humour which DS loves.

We still did the usual pass the parcel, musical chairs (wheeling wheelchairs onto newspaper and taking a sheet away each time) kind of games.

Parents from the SS always stayed for the whole party and had a good chat.

TalesOfTheUnexpected Mon 29-Aug-11 06:54:59

Thanks for all your replies.

sign and smile the hydrotherapy idea sounds good but Twin 2 hates water! I can barely get him in the bath smile

Maryz no way would my daughter share her birthday party, she's lovely, but a tad selfish.

I think the route to go down is the soft-play centre, invite the whole class, ask parents to stay and bulk it out by inviting some of my daughters friends.

Thanks once again. I feel a lot less stressed now.

unpa1dcar3r Mon 29-Aug-11 15:42:25

You could take this as an opportunity to meet the other parents Tales.
I have 2 sn boys both close in age (18 months apart) and have always done parties all over; horse riding, cinema, bowling, soft play, swimming etc...
But another option if you're worried about people not coming (alothough I'm sure most would be happy their kids had actually been invited, you will always get some who don't bother/feel able to/feel their child is able to cope)... But anyway you could do the party in school, their class, a few cakes n crisps, maybe a clown or magician? or just the teacher playing some songs for them to sing/dance to?
See how that goes for this time/.

magso Mon 29-Aug-11 17:43:55

Does your local softplay centre have a sn session? We have attended several parties at ours - they have a sn session every 4th sunday so it is quieter and we all understand. Children bring family with them and its nice for us all to meet up. Often other regulars ( sn session) join in and nobody minds - it works better that way. School have helped with suggesting children to invite ( from other classes but who play alongside our child in play time and enjoy soft play. If there is no dedicated sn session could the centre open an extra hour just for you to keep it quieter and less stressful? Good luck!

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