Wednesday, May 23, 2007


photo credit-Aroid

Well, this last weekend marked a momentous occasion for Buddy Boy.

He went to a birthday party!!!!!

I was beginning to think he'd never get invited to one again. The last time he was invited to a party was over 2 years ago. When he was 4 he was on the edge of "the parents just invite whoever is in the class, even if they don't know them" stage. He then entered into the "Buddy Boy's the oddball kid who throws tantrums" stage of recognition (by peers and parents) and I thought that his days of going to parties (he had only attended a few, with only limited success) were over.

But one of his classmates from his regular classroom invited him to a birthday party. It was a bowling party, which was a good thing. Bowling used to be something that was definitely sensory overloading. One of the parties that he had gone to a couple years ago was a bowling party, and although he had wanted to go to it, he had a meltdown that was probably sensory in origin (can you think of a place much more loud and echo-ey?).

But last summer he was involved in a summer camp thru Giant Steps, which for those who don't know is a private school that specializes in autism. They had tons of field trips, including a weekly trip to a bowling alley. The long and short of it is that Buddy Boy loved going bowling, to the point of it becoming incorporated into his OCD behaviors. He perseverated for a long time on acquiring a bowling ball. He asked my sister, the chemist, if she could make him one. He googled "free bowling ball" on the web and found dozens of bowling ball sites-"Look dad, I don't think this one costs that much!"

So I was glad that it was a bowling party. It was something he liked, and it had a structure that he would understand, and foster some limited interaction with the other kids.

As it turned out, Liz took him instead of me. I'm usually the designated escort for both kids to parties, but I was involved with taking down a 40 foot pine tree in the back yard, and was up against having not enough time to finish the job.

Liz reported that he did reasonably well. We had written out and reviewed various things with Buddy Boy ahead of time, which we think helps. Buddy Boy didn't have any meltdowns, didn't interact much but remained basically socially appropriate, and said he had a good time. In my mind, a roaring success!

I only hope we have the opportunity to do it again.


Steph said...

We're also entering that phase of childhood (our kids are pretty much the same age I think). Reed got invited to a bowling party a couple months ago and I was terrified to let him go, as neither of us would be able to stay (it was the weekend his little brother had brain surgery so you can guess where our priority was that particular day). He had pretty much the same reaction. He bowled a little, and then spent the bulk of the afternoon running back and forth to the vending machine (what 6 year old wouldn't seize the opportunity to load up on junk he's not supposed to have when Mom's not around?).

Glad to hear he did so well. Hopefully this is the first of many to come.

bigwhitehat said...


Hope you have that tree business over and done. And managed to not hurt your back.

Mom without a manual said...

Sounds like something to celebrate in my book!

Daisy said...

Go Buddy Boy! Bowling is a life sport, too -- something he can continue to enjoy as he grows older.

kristina said...


but what about this 40 foot tree?

Club 166 said...

Managed to get the tree down without hurting my back (or having it fall on the neighbor's house, which it was about 10 feet from). It's hard not to have fun when you're using a chain saw. :)

I did manage to get a slight case of poison ivy while also clearing some weeds.

It took me the better part of 3 days to rope off the tree, fell it, slice and dice it, and haul it out to the curb to be picked up.

Unfortunately I have one more to fell. It is a bit smaller than the first one (probably 32-35 feet), but is leaning almost on the neighbor's house.

I might blog about that in a couple weeks when I take that down. I did the first one solo, but will probably need a couple of people on ropes to guide this one after I cut it.