This is one of those times being a parent of a special needs child has no resemblance of being a typical parent. I used to wonder what types of sports my child would want to play or what hobbies they would like. What type of friends they would have, what I would do if I thought they had made poor choices in friends among a million other thoughts about the future.
That was long ago.
Now my thoughts range from point by point, step by step, entirely unsure about the dreaded future. Scheduling conflicts and reading food labels. Stress, anxiety and fear of how others will be unkind, even cruel to my baby. I hate that feeling. I know that for the most part Maggie has little to no desire to even tolerate children around her. The prospect of friends seems like a lost milestone and an undesirable achievement from her point of view. So you can imagine my feelings and mixed emotions when Mags received an invitation to a birthday party for a boy in her class.
Now among the Social issues there is the sensory dilemma. The party is being held at an indoor gym, a type of bounce house meets gymnastics meets pizza and overly caffeinated children. The plethora of concerns on my mind include...
- Pizza - well that's a gluten and dairy disaster I have to distract her from noticing ... I get the joy of telling her "No, sorry sweetheart BUT I have edamame, apple sauce and turkey :-)"
- Lights - often at large public places the lights are overwhelming and if they have special effects then they can be distracting if not annoying or even painful for her
- Bad Contact - Nice way of saying for when my child hits another child...
- Other Parents - this can either be encouraging or depressing.... usually the later
- Children not part of the group - running over, pushing, being rude, and overall unpleasant towards my child and her friends. Never fails going out to a public place means you will encounter some not so nice people!
Wish me luck