I know that he appreciates the efforts we have made in the past, but he would prefer it to just be simple. I struggle with this--a lot! Simple is hard for me. I LOVE parties and entertaining. My oldest hates crowds, and presents are an added mode for sensory overload. It is hard living up to peoples "ideals". Knowing how to respond appropriately is not a strength for either of my kids. Not everyone involved handles that well. Our kids do not sugar coat anything. Some might presume that being nonverbal would mask the disinterest, but not really.
I'll never forget the year at Christmas time Izzy, my youngest, got a doll. My dad and stepmom were excited about presenting the present to her. They didn't know that there was something about dolls that seemed weird for my youngest. Her response was less than desirable. No sugar coat, the doll got flung across the room and she moved on to playing with the box and the wrapping paper the doll came in. Which is normal for babies, but not someone around 6 years old.
These behaviors seem rude, and frankly they are. We as a family are working on this, but these changes take time and developmental maturity that sometimes takes years to master. Mostly it requires grace from all involved. Moving on...:)
|The Birthday Cake was yummy!!|
So my oldest turned 11 years old in May and we did small. We got the things that mattered to Josh. A birthday cake, and all his favorite foods. We invited no one. It was just his dad, sister, and myself. It didn't seem like much, but Josh loved it! He wasn't so overwhelmed that he had to leave his own party. He even gifted us with a "first". We put the candles on the cake and my husband and I were fully ready to blow the candles out for him, because that is what we have always had to do. Josh never really seemed to understand why he had to blow the candles out before. But this time he waited and leaned in and blew those candles out (matter-a-fact-ly) like he was supposed to do and he did it!!! I looked at my husband and said, "What a gift. Josh surprised us on his birthday."
|Luckily I was camera ready. The wind was blowing so my husbands hand is blocking the wind.|
It really is about the small things for us at the Allen home. You have no idea what will happen or how this time might be different, but we celebrate! My kids are gifts. We do not do typical here. We have tried that and it was not as much fun. ;) We do us every day of the week and even on Sundays. I want to celebrate it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Everyday we practice the things we are not good at, and embrace the accomplishments made along the way.
Why not share our celebratory "first"? I know the autism community is vast and colorful. I love to see how we all celebrate our uniqueness!!!
Birthdays are tough. How have you celebrated? Share with us about your celebration's good, bad, and ugly. You can find us over at the website at Thatautismmom.com. or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Have a great week you all.