When your friend of 30 plus years invites you to her children’s party, the child who’s class Z should have been in, of course I said yes, this is a mate of 30 plus years and I was thankful that Z was invited. Thankful that someone wanted him there. As a parent of a child with autism the party invites dry up. We’ve been extremely lucky with the friends we have and he does get invited but again I know we’re one of the lucky ones.
I thought the hard part would be sitting in a room of people some I know but not really enough to sit at the side of and talk to. Would seeing the difference in Z to other children his age, the class he was signed up to be in, the children he should have been playing games with at break and parents I should have been talking to and heading on nights out with been emotionally draining?
How Z was going to react I had no idea, a strange room full of children he didn’t know.
We lasted an hour and forty minutes. Yup out of a two hour party.
Yes, he ran, he jumped he attempted to join in. He even used the toilet.
But what really surprised me was how the parents didn’t seem to know one another.
Now when Z started Sen school I had this image that I wouldn’t get to know parents, wouldn’t make new friends. Of course that was all wrong, I’ve made some amazing friends some of those parents their children are not even in Z’s class. But I think it’s the opposite to mainstream. Talking to a friend there she said no they not really friendly they’ll say hi etc but that’s it. I was shocked. What happened to the meeting friends, play dates and drinks?!
Have social media taken away new friendships ? Do you not need to make new parent friends. If so how sad is that. Or has life really gotten that busy that no one has time to stop and chat anymore.
Or is it in a Sen school we tend to lean on one another that little bit more? There’s no competitiveness if one kid does well we as parents all celebrate! Even the silly small achievements, if your child stands on the stage for two minutes in the Christmas concert on day two after refusing to get on it in day one, we smile and we’re so exited. Of if the child touches a new food we all get excited for that child and the touched food. I don’t think any parent there gets jealous of any child. I know from other mates of children in mainstream it’s come up in conversation before so say one kid has a book before theirs and they think it’s unfair this is just one example I can think of right now.
Not really sure where this was going.
I know my expectations changed.
I know Z done amazing, I’m so glad I had the opportunity to take him to a party, and I know I didn’t come out of there feeling emotionally drained but kinda thankful for what I have.
It’s proved to me today that I went with the right choice. Z has the best of both worlds he at the moment still gets invited to party’s he went and had fun and I learnt that not everything in life is what you expect it to be!

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