24 answers

Child with Asperger's and Birthday Parties

Hi ladies, my son David has been asking me questions lately about birthday parties and it is breaking my heart. He is 9 and he has only been invited to one party in kindergarden. 4 yrs ago. His brother has been invited to 5 this year and he is asking alot of questions. Daniel told me yesterday that the young boy that they both play with who is 7 is having a birthday party and Daniel has a verbal invite but the boy does not want David there. David has a hard time when he starts to play there with giving outside of himself, typical asperger's. He starts playing the video games and gets lost in them. But that is the main reason they enjoy going over there, This family is African, and they are very sweet, but I do not feel right talking to the mom about the issue, But at the same time how are people going to except children with Asperger's unless they are aware of the challenge these children face.
How do I help David with feeling important enough to go to a party, He looks so sad when he is not invited. He tells me" I am a trying to be good and be nice". What should I do???

What can I do next?

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I have not spoken to the mom very much, she tends to keep to herself. I will try to make a better effort with her and like the idea of having a coffee mommy break moment with her to share who David is. As for the other idea's after I posted this I was a speech with David and ran into a woman with a son who was 10 and she was starting a playgroup at a therapist office as well as through her church. I think alot of you are right. I have tried neighborhood friends and school, baseball and church and he is not fitting in so I think I will get him into more support "Aspergers playgroups. thanks for all your input. I do not want to force him on someone who has not invited him. He and I had a dairy queen date during his brothers other party that set off this whole can of worms. Thanks for all your help.

Featured Answers

So sad......people just don't think sometimes. How about letting David throw a weenie roast or something this spring? He can invite whomever he wants and he can be the main guy. Maybe if you can do something like that, people will be more open......make it a big event, and invite parents too so that everyone can see what a great kid he is. If he can handle doing this, it might help everyone around. If not, then start with small little outdoor get together......I hope this helps and you tell David to hang in there.....Good Luck.

More Answers

Hi M.,

This is not exclusive to special needs kids. I have two daughter's and the oldest (they are three years apart) gets invited everywhere and the youngest rarely gets an invite. My brother even took my oldest to Disney World with his family and said the younger kids weren't going. I found out when my daughter got home, there were two cousins that were younger than her sister that went....It breaks my heart. My youngest is vivacious, fun and rarely misbehaves. She is now 14 and we have talked a lot about people being different and people inviting guests they want to surround themselves with. They will each come into there own circle of friends and that may or may not be soon.

Don't be disheartened. David will be fine. Keep communicating with him and try to seek out some friends that he can enjoy. This is a growth process that may hurt now but will most likely be a major part of his maturity later.

God bless,

M.

2 moms found this helpful

One of my kiddo's best friends is an Aspie (SUCH a great kid!), and it's easy for us, both because we're an adhd household - so we are used to and enjoy quirks,,,and because I'm tolerably familiar with HFA (a good 1/2 the kids in gifted programs are usually Aspies, with a sprinkling of us adhd-types for fun and excitement. It's an ongoing competition to see who exactly is the most stubborn). I've noticed though that OTHER parents tend to be intimidated by him. Perhaps the same can be said of my own kiddo... but I don't really notice... because I love him to bits, so I don't see why anyone else wouldn't as well. (LOL.. okay okay, y'all know what I mean... of COURSE there are days I might wanna do the "kid for sale - cheap" days.... I'm not blind to his faults, but to me they're "normal".)

He's an absolute joy (my son's friend)... but one really has to know that if you make a passing comment about "Sorry the house is a mess" you are likely to get a clinical appraisal as to the *actual* state of your house. It's kind of funny... because the other kid's parents and I frequently end up being "ambassadors" for the other child's "disorder". I think both because it's not "normal" in our house, so we see what other parents are seeing AND because we're not sick to death of explaining our amazing kid's quirks to people with raised eyebrows.

On the party thing... If the school doesn't already have a "the whole class must be invited thing" (and that's NOT a crazy thing to address in an IEP, because it's a school policy that the majority of elementary schools already have in place... the poster wasn't saying other parents have to invite a certain kid because of their IEP, she was saying it can be addressed as a school policy)... you MIGHT consider what we already do:

We pepper the year with "small parties". BBQ's in the summer time, random "Challah French Toast" brunches, a videogame or movie and pizza evening or afternoon (especially around the holidays other parents tend to jump on these to get shopping done), pumpkin carving party, etc. Things that are whole family oriented especially tend to bridge the understanding gap... and the little mini "parties" (which would be considered playdates in most circles) ease some of the wanna-party tension and build a friend base for "actual" parties.

Hugs.

R

2 moms found this helpful

I would talk to the parents. It is always best to be honest, and maybe once they understand your son's situation they would feel more comfortable with David around. I would also suggest that you offer to stay, so that they don't feel any extra pressure. Plus then you will be around to help direct David as needed. I'm sure the parents could use the extra help too!

2 moms found this helpful

This is something I would talk to the other parents about. If there was a substantial age difference, I could see why he wouldn't be invited but he already plays there a lot and them only inviting one child is wrong as it makes your 9 year old feel very left out.

I recommend finding a group or a couple other moms with children facing the the same situation and getting together with them often. I have a brother with autism and he is in a class with other children who have similar disabilities so it makes it easier on him.

Good luck!

S.

1 mom found this helpful

Honestly, If I were you, I would go to the mother and fill her in the situation. Maybe offer to stay at the party with your son to be sure all is well. Just think, ou can help the mother out with the festivities while you are there. My cousin's son has Aspergers and like his mom says, how can people learn to accept these kids unless I help them understand. Help your baby out. He needs it.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I feel for you, and for David, we have a similar situation with our son, he does not have Aspergers (that I'm aware) but he is experiencing the same things with birthday parties in our neighborhood. There is one boy his age but he has an older brother who runs with even older boys, when each has a party the little one is invited but ours is not, he says the same things David is. We tell him that these boys are older and that it's better to have friends his own age, he tries to understand.
Here is my advice: If you live in a community that is large enough, you should have special interest groups, such as those with Aspergers or Autism, and you should get David involved in those groups. Although it might be convenient for your kids to run out the door to the neighbors house, you're going to have to put more work into it than that, for his sake. Soon he will have contacts in his own special groups and they will be able to do things together. This can form long lasting relationships for him. I've sought out two different parent/mom groups, one looks ok, the other I think I may drop, I've also gotten in contact with children from his former school (where he went before we put him in a private school that is heavily academic, making it hard to make friends) by contacting his old teacher and having her give a note to the childs parent with our phone number, requesting a playdate.

Next, children with Aspergers should not be exposed to video games for more than a few minutes at a time. As you're aware they can take activities or habits overboard and video games are not a good one.

I also have to ask, and I may have missed something, but what does being African have to do with it exactly?

In summary, it's going to take a little work on your part to help your child find a niche. Best of luck, I hope David finds himself a good friends he can count on.

1 mom found this helpful

This isn't always an issue that just affect kids with special needs - with my two oldest girls, they had two different personalities and one went alot of birthday parties and one didn't. However, I do understand your situation with having my own child on the Autism Spectrum. If you think that your son would benefit from going to the party (some kids on the Autism Spectrum would not - it "sounds" like a good idea to them, but when actually confronted with the party, they tend to fall apart), then I would talk to the mom and mention that you heard that her son was having a party and Daniel was invited. And then mention that your son, David, has some special needs (you don't need to be specific if you don't want to) and would really like to attend as well. Offer to bring the boys over, but mention that you would stay and keep an eye on David so she doesn't have to worry about anything, and maybe offer to give her a hand as well. My guess is that she will be more understanding than you think and that will give you the opportunity to observe David at the actual party to see how he does.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Both my boys have Aspergers, they get invites, but we skip most parties. Our school district has a rule, the whole class gets invited or no one at school can recieve an invite. Kids are not aloud to bring invites just for a few kids. I would bring it up to the school that it is hurting your childs feeling badly that he never gets invited. He cannot help how he is. And it is not fair to him that he see's other kids in class get invites.

You could also talk to the teacher about it. Your child should have an IEP and in that IEP you can request that birthday invites in his classes go to everyone or no one. His mental health is in danger if they cannot enforce this simple thing. ;) The teachers here send letters home to parents explaining that kids feel left out if they don't get invited, so if invites are sent they need to be for everyone.

Our schools have many rules that seem out there, valentines never have "to such and such" names put on them, just from names, every child has the same kind and color of binders. etc. But without these simple things, many kids would be left out.

Sense we do skip most parties we always make sure to plan a fun day for our kids so they don't feel they missed out on something.

1 mom found this helpful

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