Where a dad of two great kids (one on the autism spectrum) muses about life.
Monday, January 28, 2008
No, this isn't about the Geier's, or any other practitioners of scientific hocus pocus.
Mad Science! was the theme for Buddy Boy's birthday party with his classmates (was I only dreaming, or did we really have birthday parties when I was a kid that weren't "themed"-our parents would host them at the house, we'd play some silly games like pin the tail on the donkey or pitching clothespins into milk bottles, have some cake and call it a day).
As readers of this blog will recall, I was just a bit anxious last week that we would have enough kids coming to even have a party. My unspoken fear was that Buddy Boy was being ostracized already as the "odd kid", and that no one wanted to attend his party because of that.
Liz mounted a phone campaign to "follow up" with all of those that hadn't RSVP'd, and we ended up with 12 kids total, out of a possible 20. Certainly a respectable showing (I would have been satisfied with 6-7, including our own 2, so 12 was great). The scientist came in and performed most of the usual type stunts that kids like, while providing some education along the way. Things like demonstrating the amazing water absorbing properties of sodium acrylate (the stuff that's used in disposable diapers), a Tesla generator, how different metals burn with different colors, and (of course) fun with dry ice. All of the kids made their own 'slime', which they got to take home with them.
Instead of gifts, we had each kid bring a book, and then we had a book exchange. It seemed to go over well. One very thoughtful young girl, who admitted that she didn't like bugs at all, brought a book all about bugs that she thought that Buddy Boy would like. He ended up picking a different book, "Diary of a Fly'.
Two hours (three with set up and take down), no major incidents (I don't count the one kid at my end of the table who was eating the cake by putting his face in it-he was being encouraged by some of the other kids), all of the kids seemed to have fun, and Buddy Boy and Sweet Pea both liked it. Not a bad day at all.
Maybe we should sponsor a couple of Mad Science parties for all of the so called "scientists" spouting all sorts of idiocy regarding autism's causes and "cures". It might raise their level of science education.
Me- Joe, husband of a great wife, and dad to two great kids, who were both adopted at birth.
Liz- My ever understanding wife, who manages to wear many hats (mom, advocate, therapist, teacher) for our kids.
Buddy Boy- Born in 2000. Funny, intelligent, inventive, and autistic. Loves machines.
Sweet Pea- Born in 2002. Typical little sister. Competitive, outgoing, and smart. Loves anything pink.