We had my son’s 6th Birthday party on Saturday. And for the first time in a long time, it wasn’t too hard for him to deal with.
I talk a lot about my son having sensory processing disorder. He is on a waiting list to be tested for Autism as well. And certain situations set him off.
New people, a lot of people, new places, a lot of noise, a lot of movement going on. With the exception of being a new place (we were at our house), all of these happen at birthdays.
I always wonder if celebrating with a party is something we should even do. We have tried less people, being at home, and a place where he can exert his energy (he becomes a sensory seeker when overloaded). Each year he always ends up having a hard time.
And every year I ask him if he wants to have a party. And every year he says yes. I figure if he completely hated it, he would just tell me he wouldn’t want one or would only want a few people there.
He wanted to invite his friends from school. And then there’s family. And then there’s friends that are like family. And before we finished my idea of small party was up to a possibility of 35 plus people.
And of course they all wouldn’t come, but I was so nervous.
He is in a special education class room (in Kindergarten) fully right now with kids all different ages.
Last year we invited 12 kids from his class. Only 2 came. We were disappointed. He talked about it a lot for quite a few weeks.
And on the day of his party my heart shattered as he said “maybe no one will come.”
And then a car pulled in. Other than family, they were the first to show. A little girl from his class and her mom. And then another. And another.
He was so happy! He didn’t eat much of anything but he played his heart out with all of his friends. Four came, but that was half of his class! One mom even came to drop off a present even though her son couldn’t come. My son’s cousin was there as well. They had so much fun.
And his room was the place to be if they needed to decompress.
I was worried about some of the games and wasn’t sure if they would like it. But they loved them! The pinata and Pin the Star on Mario (just like pin the tail on the donkey but it his party was Mario themed).
I got to know all of the parents and all of the kids and I love them all.
He was SO happy.
And I have NEVER not been worried when he is somewhere and I can’t see him. But everyone was eating outside and one of the moms was inside with the kids in his room. And I knew I could trust her because she knows. I didn’t even realize they had left the table (sounds bad doesn’t it?) until a few minutes later. Normally, I’m hawkeye. Helicopter mom.
But I could breathe because I knew, that the other moms knew too. They understood. They knew that if he acted out it wasn’t because he was bad, it was because he was overstimulated. They would know the sensory toys in the room and there was no judgement. I loved it! LOVED IT.
So, I am here to say, that if you are a parent of special needs kid, and you see other parents of special needs kids–talk to them! Band together. Our kids are already misunderstood. Our parenting is too. You know who isn’t going to judge you? The parent who is being judged just as harshly. The misunderstood should stand united!