I hate when my sons birthday comes around

Kristin - posted on 11/08/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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This is my first time coming here. I'm so glad I found this place. I feel like I'm alone and no one else understands. My son has ADHD, Aspergers and anxiety. He is eight years old. He is on Focalin and he does pretty good on it. School is going well but his problem is social.

His birthday is in a couple of weeks and I always dread his birthday party. He doesn't have any friends so I invite his class but I know that most of the kids don't really like him. Unfortunately, he can't handle playing with other kids. Like last week, he was playing soccer at recess and a kid had the ball and my son wanted it so he ran up behind him and put him in a choke hold and brought him down. I feel so bad!

My son thinks everyone is his friend so it breaks my heart when I pick him up from the YMCA and he is alone, playing with legos. He's prefectly fine with it but I feel bad about it. I've brought him to a behavioral therapist, a child psychologist and even I'm in therapy to try to learn how to deal with him.

I don't have many friends around here. I keep to myself since my son has done something to someones child. He had one friend that told him that he can't be friends with him anymore because he's too mean. He feels bad after he does it. He knows it's wrong but he can't seem to stop himself from doing it.

I just wanted to say hi and happy to have found this community.

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Tammy - posted on 07/19/2010

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I to share your feeling on birthday parties my son just turned three and he doesnt even realise what a birthday is he knows he gets presents and a cake but thats it so we do the family thing as well. The funny thing is once he opened his presents he went straight back to his dvd and his trains see what i mean..:)

Kathy - posted on 07/16/2010

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First - you are NOT alone! I've been there...done that and I can tell you that from reading all the posts on the related conversations there are ALOT of us who read your post and see ourselves! Welcome!!!

I stopped having birthday parties for my kids a LONG time ago. I have made it a practice to ask them to chose one friend and we do something special. Usually a movie and dinner somewhere special that they've picked! I let them choose what kind of cake they want and we do cake and ice cream afterwards at home.

Oh, and sometimes I took cupcakes to school for the whole class. Our Aspies get frustrated and just can't control themselves sometimes ... however, there is hope! My Aspie son is now 16 and in the past 6 months he's matured in leaps and bounds! He's even making mostly A's in school including the tough courses like Geometry!

Find a psychologist who you can tell UNDERSTANDS your son. Ours made an immediate connection with my son and it's amazing what he's been able to do with him.

Stay strong!!

Kristin - posted on 07/16/2010

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I haven't been on the site since my sons birthday in November but the party went well. I do know that that is the last birthday party I throw for him. He had about eight kids that come but he was pretty much only interested in the video games. But he enjoyed it so that's what counts!

I have been seeing a psychologist who helps me with parenting and that has been a huge help to me. I completely changed the way I parent him and it is working.

He's doing better socially. Still needs alot of work but he hasn't hit anyone in a while. I just hope with maturity he will start to develop some friendships but things are improving.

Annmarie - posted on 07/16/2010

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First, Welcome to our circle. There's a bunch of great women here with oodles of helpful advice. Secondly, I feel for you. Instead of having a party, take him out for a special day. Do his favorite things and have fun with him. My son is sooo into movies that for 19 yrs now that is still the special activity we do. His choice of a place to eat, movie then shop for his gifts. I often feel bad that my son is not as social as my other children ( 6 total) Over the years he developed a few friends and now he goes out once in a long while. Point is outside relationships will come slowly. Just keep doing what you're doing, he'll be just fine.

Melissa - posted on 07/16/2010

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Welcome to the forums! There are a lot of helpful, kind people here. We aren't all dealing with the same issues, but most of us have children who are "different" and for some of us, this is a great support system. I hope you find what you're looking for, whether it be information, understanding, or comfort. :)



Until we removed the children from school, I had always done large classroom parties. Now we tend to have smaller get-togethers, or take day trips (zoo, aquarium, museums, whatever the birthday child likes to do). If the place we take the trip to is wihin a reasonable distance, we often buy a year-long family membership so we can return several times. The price for that is less than a traditional birthday party for 20 kids. :)

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Sheila - posted on 07/16/2010

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Hi Kristin,

That is GREAT news! We are all a work in progress, and as long as we are moving forward (no matter how slow), we are still in the game!

I am glad to hear that you are also looking for help. None of us can do this alone!

Sheila

Shasta - posted on 07/16/2010

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im new to the site as well and my son is 7. and he does the same things ur son does. when i pick him up from school he isnt with the other kids. he is layin in the corner by himself and he doesnt see a thing wrong with it. his friend is his 3 yr old brother and even aaron at times doesnt want to play with him because he is mean to him so i tell aaron not to play with him when he starts being mean. and my 3yr old tries to explain to him that its not nice to hit and take things from others but it doesnt help for long. ne ways i wish we could start a play group or something around here where i live. i live in knoxville tn so if ne one is around here let me know if interested. also i found an art class that is called arts for autism and im gonna take him next week to that and c how it goes. and i found a support group that i hope to join...

Wendy - posted on 07/16/2010

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Both of my ASD boys have birthdays two days apart in June. To alleviate the stress and frustration we have made it a tradition to go to the beach for their birthdays. On their special day they can choose the activity they want to do, pick where they want to eat and even get to go shopping at toys r us for their present. This way they feel incontrol and theres no disappointment.

Carol - posted on 07/16/2010

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"I feel like I'm alone and no one else understands."
I relate to Kristin's comment and look forward to joining this community.

My six-year-old son with autism has inappropriate behaviors that alienates other kids and parents, so I sometimes avoid social situations. A few parents are wonderful and understanding, but it's hard for their children to understand. (Any tips for explaining hits or kicks out of the blue to peers?)

I also have a very sociable four-year-old daughter, but it is extremely difficult for me to take both my children places. It's hard to watch them both, and my son needs someone right with him in case of aggression. Again, very isolating. I think after awhile other parents don't include me because they assume I can't come. Then I feel excluded.

I feel that I should attempt to educate parents around me about autism, but it's very difficult for me to back up and look at it with fresh eyes ... I've been so immersed in it.

Hi, and I'm glad to have found this community, too.

Christina - posted on 11/09/2009

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As far as birthdays...I don't think that they have birthday parties like we used to go to :-/ Kids just don't interact like they used to outside of school. My boys are not autistic, but have adhd, ocd & anxiety. I may not see exactly the same behaviors, but trust me, we still have our public/social outbursts! I do not even bother w/ inviting classmates or certain individuals.I allow them to pick where they want to go & just invite family. They both have 1 or 2 *close* friends, but I rarely even take that road...just not worth the fight or disappointment for them :)

Where I live, we have county mental health services. Both, our 4 year old & 8 year old, are enrolled in a psychosocial group. This deals specifically w/ their social behavioral skills. They pretty much just play, but it *really* seems to be helping. It is a pre-school for the 4 year old (goes 4 hrs/day) and the 8 year old attends the after school program that they offer.

Now, keep in mind that the children that attend have some *really* bad behavior so you will need to weigh your options. We also have someone that comes to our house (his comfort zone) to help us find different ways of handling/doing things to make our evenings a little easier.

Suzanne - posted on 11/09/2009

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Hi!
My son is 10 and has Asperger, ADHD, Severe Dyspraxia and anxiety issues. I always made the birthday parties quite simple: Family and relatives and close friends (with or without kids). Now, he goes to 1 party a year for one of his friends all alone (by the way, that friend also has autism) and as a family, we go on 3 other parties every year (kids of my closest friends). And there was a year that my son could'nt eat cake (texture issues), so i bought plenty of little donuts (like timbits), and make a "Dinosaur mountain" with it, and put a LOT of candles. That year, nobody had cake at that party. And i was very surprised to realise that it was OK!!!
Like Joy said, we have to think OUTSIDE the box with those kids! Ask what he want and start with that! As parents, we must never forget that those kids can't adjust to their environment, it's the environment that must adjust to them!
Good luck to you, and we are all in the same boat!!!

Brenda - posted on 11/08/2009

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Don't be sorry about what he does, but be proactive in helping him understand that physical force will not get him anywhere. My son is 13 (Autism/Asperger) and we are starting to have more problems with attitude and behavior. The school and home front have worked out a way for him to communicate his feelings. We are using a modified PEC system. Instead of pics we are using word phrases, since he can read and write good. I don't know where your son is in that department, if he isn't that far along use pic. We have put this on a clip and they are small laminated word boards that he keeps with him at all times. Also, the kids in his class need to be informed about his condition and how they can help him. To learn to recognize when he is getting worked up and to either leave him alone or alert the teacher. My son has a definate way he shows he is getting upset and everyone is learning this, my goal is to get him to recognize and communicate this. I do not want him hurting someone either. My heart goes out to you. Is it possible that you can invite one or two friends that tolerate your son to go for pizza or to a game room like Chuckie cheese? I have had parties every year except this year and I found my son did well but that is not always the case with every child. And yes most autistic children perfer to play alone, but it is good to try to get him to socialize as much as possible so he can learn those skills. Continue to treat him as normal as possible and expect only the best from him and he will respond appropriately most of the time. Good Luck and much patience. God Bless :)

Sheila - posted on 11/08/2009

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My son went to his first friend birthday party and I asked the mom if it would be okay if I came. She was very welcoming. The children were having loads of fun, and my little guy was sitting off by himself playing with lego. I really had to put on the brakes to stop from saying, do you want to do this, do you want to do that?? But, when they sat down for hot dogs and cake, he was right there.

My husband keeps asking what friends he will have over for his birthday. If you ask our son, he will tell you he wants to see my best friend and her two children....my husband will say that's not a real party....ARGH IS TOO !!

Kristin - posted on 11/08/2009

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Thanks everyone. I realize I'm putting more pressure on myself and my son when my son really doesn't care about the parties. He would be thrilled if we just took him to Friendly's for dinner. I will keep that in mind next year. It will be alot less stressful for both of us!

Renee - posted on 11/08/2009

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My son is 8 and used to put kids in choke holds when they did something over and over to frustrate him and believe me they only did it once. I do not condone that behavior but he was often standing up for either himself or someone he liked who was being picked on. Now that he's in 2nd grade he no longer does that to his classmates but believe me we don't get invited to many parties either. I think ALOT of parents of typically developing children just don't want to deal with our kids. There are so many misconceptions about autism and aspergers out there. And for my sons birthdays we now just invite this one family who understand over for dinner and cake, even my son won't eat the cake he enjoys the kids and his favorite meal being served. I'm with another poster here - do something that your child enjoys and forget about picture perfect birthdays. I took my son to his favorite store (Game Stop) and let him pick out a new game for his Nintendo which made him very happy. Re-think birthdays - the party and cake thing are not as important to your son. Take care.

April - posted on 11/08/2009

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My son is 8 years old and was diag about 4 years ago. Before then he was constantly playing by himself even though he was always around his 4 cousins. We took him to a pediatric development specialist who put him on Luvox and later Strattera. The Luvox has really helped him become more social. There are times when he still chooses to play by himself, but he prefers to play with other kids now. Don't get me wrong, we still have many problems including issues like the choke hold. He prefers to bite though. One important thing to remember though is that most of these kids like to play by themselves. As long as he does interact with other kids, some alone time is very good for him. It allows them to regroup and calm themselves down. It is a coping mechanism for them.

Kristin - posted on 11/08/2009

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Sorry, I should specify, I don't like birthday parties, not birthdays. I feel bad because he's only invited to maybe two parties a year. I think next year we are going to have to do something like that. I guess I try to force parties on him but really, I don't think he would care if he didn't have one.

Joy - posted on 11/08/2009

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You may want to check out the book I Love Birthdays, It's the parties I can do without. I hear your stuggles, most of us face some level of this with our kiddos. It is perfectly OK to have a small family birthday for your child. One year we decided we could not do the party torture one more time. So we asked our daughter if there was one special thing she'd like to do. She wanted to invite ONE friend and go to the aquarium. She considers it her best birthday ever.



With ASD we have have to join our kids in thinking outside the box!

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