Birthday Party invitation, what to do....

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asdmommie
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21 Sep 2012, 10:13 am

We just moved back to the area - and my brother has invited my daughter who is 5 with autism to her older cousin's birthday party. The cousin is turning 7.

I asked my brother the details.... 15 kids(just going to "run around the backyard") this party is at their home, they are kids my daughter does not know. Well she doesn't know her cousin either, played with her once at my mother's house(uhmmm.... need to mention my brother hasn't even visited me yet since i moved back nor invited us over till this "party".... his sis in law does not like my family they are in therapy.... ok off topic but had to mention it for me this is a sad situation) I honestly don't know if I should put us all through this. It is sounding like a recipe for disaster......

I told my brother(who is ignorant to autism and is insensitive to it all) that we may have to leave early.

I am torn up on this, I am hoping we can just take her briefly but I have not been in this situation before. My daughter has only been invited to two birthday parties. the one party we attended my daughter only knew the birthday girl, the girl didn't play directly with my daughter and my daughter had a meltdown because her "friend" ignored her..... I am seeing this problem as well with this party with my niece......... she is going to want to play with her friends not my kid......We might as well be going to a stranger's kids party walking into this mess.

This is a new scenario for this is a family party.... not some school kid with ignorant parents that I can just blow off. I really dont' want this to be a bad situation for my daughter.

Any suggestions? My daughter is on a special diet as well so I need to deal with that as well.....

How have you all dealt with this?



Bombaloo
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21 Sep 2012, 2:48 pm

We've done a few birthday parties that in retrospect I wish I would have skipped. The type of environment you have described is often intolerable for kids on the spectrum and the chances of it all ending badly are high.

An option you might consider: Call him and decline the invitation to the party but schedule another time to get together to catch up with him and have your daughter meet his in a calmer environment. Don't plan on making that visit very long as your daughter will likely be nervous even if its not a big event.



zette
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21 Sep 2012, 4:07 pm

Better yet, RSVP yes, then ring up the day of the party and say that she's sick and so sorry she can't come, but can we schedule a playdate with the niece sometime soon. This way, there are no hurt feelings about you declining the party invitation. Be sure to bring a birthday present next time you see them.



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21 Sep 2012, 4:43 pm

We went to one of those recently. My son (age 4, ASD) cried at first but he calmed down once he got used to it. He didn't play with the other kids but played near them. After a couple of hours he got bored and wandered into a neighbor's yard. We left at that point.

Does your daughter suffer from social anxiety? That could be a problem.



asdmommie
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21 Sep 2012, 5:49 pm

Social anxiety is an understatement:( :( I can see it now...my loud drunk brother and his loud wife scaring my daughter, one kid screams and my daughter is done(she is struggling with kids screaming at school and crying.... ok what the hell was I thinking taking her to this party?????)

I was thinking to say yes at first then make an excuse and bail...... I have had a bad feeling in my gut on this whole thing, if it was a classmate and a bunch of children she knew it would still be a challenge, but I need to trust and go with my mom instincts.... I get torn with the "maybe she will be fine", but just because she handles herself well in a classroom doesn't equate to this situation. I have already had to say no to two birthday parties this month because of the dreaded bounce house partyroom environment...... I have to examine each situation and pick and choose what's best for my daughter and not what others think if I say no.



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21 Sep 2012, 6:23 pm

Oh dear, I wouldnt go to be honest. Its a shame to have to decline it if your brother wont acknowledge your daughters problems what can you do! :?

My little girl has AS but is generally ok in social situations. We went to a party last week and she wasnt really interested in playing with the other kids, but she was starting to do the sort of stuff she would do at home that others would consider naughty, like taking inside toys in the garden and bringing dirty garden stuff inside, mixing gravel its crumbled up food and some soap to mak a "cake". So I gave her a task to take a bowl of crisps round and offer them to all the adults. She got chatting with them and so was distracted from her previous activities. However she then decided to be a dog for the rest of the day and started to eat the crisps face first in the bowl off the floor! Parties can be difficult for us too but she does at least enjoy them, if I thought she wasnt enjoying it I wouldnt go.

Hope you can come to an agreement with your brother and he doesnt get upset if you dont go :)



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21 Sep 2012, 7:02 pm

zette wrote:
Better yet, RSVP yes, then ring up the day of the party and say that she's sick and so sorry she can't come, but can we schedule a playdate with the niece sometime soon. This way, there are no hurt feelings about you declining the party invitation. Be sure to bring a birthday present next time you see them.


I like Zette's suggestion. I am normally not in favour of duplicity of any kind, but this may be one of those situations where a "little white lie" is the absolute best, feeling-sparing, relationship building strategy.

You could even just say that your daughter "isn't feeling up to the party" when you call to cancel, which technically, since you know that she would most likely not be up for it, would be the truth.



Wreck-Gar
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21 Sep 2012, 8:00 pm

asdmommie wrote:
Social anxiety is an understatement:( :( I can see it now...my loud drunk brother and his loud wife scaring my daughter, one kid screams and my daughter is done(she is struggling with kids screaming at school and crying.... ok what the hell was I thinking taking her to this party?????)

I was thinking to say yes at first then make an excuse and bail...... I have had a bad feeling in my gut on this whole thing, if it was a classmate and a bunch of children she knew it would still be a challenge, but I need to trust and go with my mom instincts.... I get torn with the "maybe she will be fine", but just because she handles herself well in a classroom doesn't equate to this situation. I have already had to say no to two birthday parties this month because of the dreaded bounce house partyroom environment...... I have to examine each situation and pick and choose what's best for my daughter and not what others think if I say no.


Why not drop in for, say, a half an hour or so? Then you go to your other "appointment" or something.



lovelyboy
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22 Sep 2012, 12:13 am

This is such difficult situations....I wouldn't go to ANYBODIES birthday if I knew the parents will get drunk and scream any way......Just my opinion!
When my son dont know other kids at a party he will only be sitting on my lap the whole time, nagging me to go home! No use really!
I would maybe not decline but on that specific day, something else" popped up".....you can then only quickly drop of her prezzie, exct?


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Little dd has ADHD with loving personality and addores his older brother! Little dude diagnosed with SID and APD.
Oldest son, 10 yrs old, diagnosed with AS and anxiety and OCD traids


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22 Sep 2012, 6:17 am

8O noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
Wouldn't do it, sounds too full on for all of you. I like any of the alternatives, reschedule an alternative day to catch up or call on the day and try to reschedule something. Take a present later and give the girls a chance to bond at a slower pace. Trust your instincts!! ! :wink:



cjn
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22 Sep 2012, 7:29 am

Listen to your gut. What are you hoping to gain by taking her to such a problematic event? That's all I'll say- everyone else has had great suggestions.



zette
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22 Sep 2012, 8:02 am

Wreck-Gar wrote:
asdmommie wrote:
Social anxiety is an understatement:( :( I can see it now...my loud drunk brother and his loud wife scaring my daughter, one kid screams and my daughter is done(she is struggling with kids screaming at school and crying.... ok what the hell was I thinking taking her to this party?????)

I was thinking to say yes at first then make an excuse and bail...... I have had a bad feeling in my gut on this whole thing, if it was a classmate and a bunch of children she knew it would still be a challenge, but I need to trust and go with my mom instincts.... I get torn with the "maybe she will be fine", but just because she handles herself well in a classroom doesn't equate to this situation. I have already had to say no to two birthday parties this month because of the dreaded bounce house partyroom environment...... I have to examine each situation and pick and choose what's best for my daughter and not what others think if I say no.


Why not drop in for, say, a half an hour or so? Then you go to your other "appointment" or something.


Birthday party etiquette is that you're supposed to stay until they cut the cake. An "appointment" would have needed to be mentioned when first accepting the invitation.



angelgarden
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22 Sep 2012, 8:06 am

I'd say, specify in advance you have an important appointment that day, but that you can drop by--as another poster said here-- for about 30 minutes. You do your 'duty', expose you child just a little to see how they do, and yet have a backup excuse to leave.

We went to a birthday party last week that I wish we hadn't gone to. And there were only 4 other kids there!! But he was having a bad week, and it did NOT go well. At all. I made my excuses and left with my son about 45 minutes in. I don't know how I could have refused as they group is his regular after-school play group--even though he knows all of them, it did not work. Sigh.

Let us know how it turns out!



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22 Sep 2012, 8:58 am

I would advise against using the appointment.

If your daughter goes to the party and happens to have fun and wants to stay, you'll either have to hurt her or your lie unravels.

Much better to fake a huge headache if she's not having fun.



asdmommie
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22 Sep 2012, 9:31 am

Thank you for all your helpful replies.... I just found out that my mother isn't invited "no grandparents" WTF????? My bro's wife's mother can't stand my mom - last year they invited her and not my mother.... now I guess the dramatics have shifted and we are the ones invited this year (kids party??? I dunno)...... Seriously I can't believe that my bro and his wife behave like this. I was hoping my mother was invited this year because that would have helped my daughter so much. All this drama is too much for me to handle...... this was the benefit of living far away...... frankly I am shocked we are invited at all......

Thankfully my daughter has a therapy/equestrian session on Saturdays.... I have mentioned that to my bro when he invited us. I don't know what time the party is - so it may be our way of getting out of it, she has an equestrian show she is participating in and she can't miss those lessons in order to participate in the show. My bro already knows about the show(I invited him and I got the "yeah yeah that sounds cool we'd love to go"......uhm yeah right promise).......