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4yr old son with ASD doesn't get invites to parties - what to do for his birthday?(20 Posts)
My DS started reception in September in a mainstream school. He has autism and a speech and language delay, so it hasn't really been able to make friends. I've been aware that he hasn't been invited to any birthday parties, which I feel sad about. What should I do for his birthday? Should I just invite the whole class even though they're not really friends with him? They are happy to play with my DS and my DS is happy at school. Have you had a similar experience?
My ds is 4.7, he has a genetic condition and is non verbal. He goes to a sn resource base in a ms school. He doesn't enjoy parties at all, and the one party he was invited to, he didn't go. There is a little boy in the resource base with him, who he has known since he was 1, and our families are friends, so we will probably have a tea party with them.
Do something that your DS would enjoy and invite a small number of children.
This is what we did for DS2's 11th. He really wanted to go to the Harry Potter exhibition. I asked him to give me a shortlist of children he got on well with, then I chose two who the teacher had told me were particularly patient with him. Those two had each other to chat to and socialise with, DS2 had the exhibition to obsess over, and all three had a great time. DS2 still talks about it now, two years on.
We asked school for names 2-3 children who showed interest in ds and just had a tea party. I think one of the mums came too. As long as you have activities for the other children e.g. crafts or decorating biscuits etc - they don't mind if yours doesn't speak / engage / join in. The children still talked about his tea party a year later and enjoyed it. DS did get invited to parties but we only ever stayed a short time.
If your son wants a party and can tolerate the noise and bustle, then why not invite the whole class. It will give you a chance to chat to other parents about how much it would mean to him (and you?) for him to be included and how you could come along to help if they are worried about whether they could manage to look after him and the others safely.
If he would be happier with fewer I like Hazy's idea.
I do feel frustrated that people who will rush to offer help and support at the sight of my wheelchair are somehow unable to access their 'helping-hand-on-switch' for invisible and learning difficulties.
I think they are nervous about how to get it right, and tend to let it pass rather than get it wrong.
So I am not sure what the answer is, but there is goodwill out there, it just may need a piece in the school magazine from the you/SENCo/an older ASD kis, or something, to get them galvanised into action.
There are usually some stories on the internet or NAS website that could get people thinking.
My dd has ASD, she was never invited to any parties throughout primary school. She's 11 now, at a special ADD secondary school.
When I realised she wasn't being invited I started to plan special days out for her birthday. It's become a tradition now and we do the same for dd2. They both look forward to the days out and get to pick where they want to go. We've never been to the same place twice. Over the years we've been to theme parks, the beach, ice skating, Legoland, water parks, the theatre etc.
We took ds out for a special family treat with no friends (did try to invite the one girl who is a friend but she was too busy (genuinely) to fit in with what we had planned). We might have tried inviting the whole class despite a lack of invites had it been earlier in the year. But, his birthday is just before the summer holidays and he wasn't returning to that school so I felt loathed to spend the money on kids who were never very friendly to him and was relieved when he was happy with the family trip.
And the other ideas!
But I wish none of you had been excluded. It is OK if your DCs are happy without parties, but pretty lame of fellow parents if they want to be invited and are always left out.
Can I also add that we never had whole class parties for our girls (nt) either, I think they are just a bit overwhelming for all children (and bloody expensive for parents!) I like TheFirst and Agnes idea to find out from the teacher if there are any children who seem to get on with him and invite them for an activity.
Ds has asd and hates parties. He was invited to 1or 2 when he was in ms but he didn't really enjoy them. He hasn't had a party since he was 4 (he's 10). We do special days out on his birthday and he loves it. We've been sledging at xscape, we've been to Newcastle on the train to look at the bridges and last year we got the train to London to look at the shard. We are very fortunate to live in a major town on the east coast mainline
All kids are different, do whatever would make your child happy rather than what you are expected to do.
Depends how big the class is. Unless you have oodles of help, you won't get to talk to ANY parents at the party. I'd ask about 8 and expect 4+. Find out what the latest craze is, here it's Goo Alienz, but cardboard boxes with Minecraft faces on to wear on your heads is probably a winner.
Try to do what YOU would find fun. It's about the birthday boy.
Thank you for all of your comments. My DS likes parties, so it is sad that he gets left out. I would love to throw my DS a party. It's been hard to get to know the other mums at the school gates when my DS hasn't really got any friends.
Lotty - this is a bit off topic here, but I totally understand that it is difficult to make friends with other mums when the usual child friendships aren't there or haven't developed yet. I have the same with my DD who is in year 1.
At her school, the SENCO put any mums/dads of SEN children together (if they wanted to). We have had a few get togethers and it's been really nice to meet others in a similar situation and chat about the school etc (even though their children are in different years/classes). I know that it doesn't
help specifically with your DS's class but it has really helped me to meet other mums and created a little network of others that know what it can be like!
Hope DS has a nice birthday.
My DS is a year older than yours
This time last year when he was in reception he hadnt had any invites
I was really upset!
Gradually there started to be a few whole class parties & that has begun to be more common among the kids so he has had some invitations.
So - hang in there, it might change. Have since heard that parents were tending to do small parties in term 1 as they were new to the class
For our DS we invited everyone as we wanted to be fully inclusive
By year 2 the parties in that school tend to become smaller again
If your Ds would prefer something smaller do that. We might go smaller this year.
Lotty. I would do whatever would make DS the happiest. If he would enjoy a whole class party I'd do that. It's sad he hasn't been invited to any parties, but it's very early in his school life. Sometimes you just have to take whatever opportunities you can to be sociable with the other children & mums and hope for the best. When you have a child who doesn't make friends so easily then going the extra mile is all you can do...parties, play dates, sleep overs etc and help them make some special friends.
We were in a similar position with DS (also has asd and speech delay) at this point in reception, it's early days and not always an indication that he won't get invites. DS is yr2 now and the invitations started coming more regularly in yr1 and this year I would say he has been invited to lots (3 this month alone!)
I did big parties for him in reception and although he hadn't received many invites everyone came. I realised I needed to be a bit more pro active with the other parents too so made a big effort to get to know people better. I even did a Halloween party and a Christmas party at home for him and his class friends to help build his social circle.
If your ds would like a party then definitely do one. I love taking ds to parties now as frankly he's usually the best behaved one their (IMO )
My boy doesn't like parties at home, I think it's an encroachment on his safe place but he loves soft play areas. So I asked the school who his friends were, and they named 4 children he plays near and tolerates. So we invited them and some family had a soft play party. They had a small disco room as well with lights. He loved it. He's only had 2 invites. We went to one, which ended up with him slapping another child, refusing to sit and eat because it was too noisy and took both me and my hubby to chase him. It was a farm one, and he showed no interest in the animals but the tractor ride was ok lol. We didn't go to the other party because it was in a church hall and I wasn't sure on escape routes and participation in games is asking for trouble with my son.
We did a whole year party for ds in year one ( 60 - all said yes!) He only had a handful of friends, only five parents stayed, only two spoke to us and helped. It was good in that everyone got to know ds better.
This year we just did a smaller pizza party. Ds doesn't get invites to party's but I was glad that everyone said yes to his and everyone was chatting away to him.
Ds1 is nt and gets no invites at all after year 3 - I think it tends to be very small parties by that age so we just do a handful to bowling and pizza
Big parties are hard work!
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