Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Too late

with one comment

We were at a 4th birthday party on Sunday, and we had a great time.  It was a big party, with lots of guests, and had to be moved indoors at the last minute due to inclement weather.  So, too many people and no place to escape.   Usually a recipe for disaster for my girl, but for the most part she behaved very well.  It wasn’t the time to force social interaction with strangers, so I didn’t.  And there were so many kids there that I don’t think anyone but me noticed she only played by herself, and she perseverated on putting a figure in the fire truck.  And I tried very hard not to notice, because I wanted time off too.

It was nice, so what if she wasn’t fully engaged?  She interacted with anyone who tried to get her attention, and I tried not to care that the other kids didn’t try.  After all, they all knew each other from day care, she was the stranger.  She is happy playing by herself, and I’m grateful for this.  For the fact that she hasn’t yet noticed she gets left out, that she is always the odd one out.  We could sit back and chat with friends.  There was so little drama that we stayed a while, perhaps too long.

We knew it was time to go when Bashful was mentioned.  As previously mentioned, he is our ten minute warning to get out of a situation that has become unbearable for Pudding.  So here is what you don’t do when you realize your spectrummy child has had enough.  You don’t, at that point, try to get her to wish happy birthday to the boy she has ignored all afternoon, because you hadn’t facilitated a conversation between the pair.  You see at that point, she is beyond social pleasantries, and is entirely unconcerned with how he might feel.  It is far too late.  And you know, if you’d done it earlier, she’d have happily complied.  She loves her little friend A, and would only want to please him, especially on his birthday.

So when we tried this, and she repeatedly refused, we had to stop trying.  Pushing her would have only led to a meltdown, and the end result would not have changed.  It is a reminder, that no matter how comfortable the situation, there is no time off, no shirking on the duties.  To do so leaves a little boy feeling that his friend was mean to him on his birthday, when she’d been so excited to see him.  And when friends are a scarce commodity, we can’t afford to lose them.  Those social conventions, so unnatural for my girl, are even more essential.  She has to learn to do them, and we have to teach her.

Today, two days after the party, Pudding was singing Happy Birthday to A.  Until she can navigate the social world without our assistance, there is no time off for us.   First we have to make it happen, and then we can relax.

If left to do it by herself, it will be too late.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

August 18, 2010 at 5:05 am

One Response

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  1. I think you really need to do whatever works for your own child and not worry about what other’s might or might not think.
    I know that’s often easier said than done but with our beautiful special kids, that’s just the way it has to be.
    i think you both did an awesome job in read her triggers and signs perfectly and avoided confrontation and removed her quickly.
    You should pat yourselves on the back for such a job well done!

    fiona2107

    August 20, 2010 at 9:58 pm


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