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Thread: group hug! update on birthday party, social worries

  1. #1
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    Default group hug! update on birthday party, social worries

    Thank you, everyone, for your hugs and sympathy. I think we all need a big *group hug* over these birthday party nightmares!

    So, get this: yesterday's birthday party was at our neighborhood public pool! The kids all go to our neighborhood public elem school -- of course in this weather they all want to hang out at the neighborhood public pool. Thankfully another mom thought to "warn" us that Jane's party was at the pool from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, so we could avoid it. Can you even imagine our being there when all of Ev's little classmates jumped out of the water at 3 p.m. to walk over to the snack area for cake and ice cream that he wasn't allowed to have? I spent last night sobbing just thinking about it.

    But the one good thing is that I am now just so plain *mad* at the family -- these are the people I took to the barn -- that it's blunted a little my pain for ds. I gave up my once-a-week horseback ride for them (for me, my horse is my therapist, best friend, and personal trainer all rolled into one!) and then had to sit home in my un-air-conditioned house when it was 97 degrees, telling Evan that he couldn't go to the pool without telling him why. He still does not know about this party and I want to keep it that way. I do think he'd be upset.

    Dh and I are in a bit of a tailspin with worry about ds's social skills now. He is so young -- the youngest in his class, and he only made the age cutoff because he was a preemie. If he'd been born on time he wouldn't even be there yet. And with his disabilities to boot . . . CP, former PDD (now does not meet criteria, but he's no social superstar), and I think he's socially immature even for his age. We really wanted to hold him in preschool a year last year but his whole team -- preschool teacher, OT, PT, SI, ST, aide -- all thought he should go to K. The idea was that he would be better off with two years of K, if needed, than another year in preschool. But now (at the end of K) the school is absolutely certain that he should go on to 1st grade. They look at me like I'm a nutcase when I bring up the idea of retaining him.

    Dh and I are starting to feel like maybe we've been asleep at the wheel this year, and we've missed a huge issue that we should have been on top of. Honestly we're in a little bit of a freak-out.

    Dh did come out and ask "mixer mom" what she knows about what's going on. She was a little reassuring in that she said (I think honestly) that Evan is not alienating the other kids, but on the other hand neither has he really bonded with any of them. (Her son, it turns out, had only 2 friends to the party for which she borrowed my mixer; I can live with Evan not making someone's "top two" list!)

    I have been meaning to post on this for a while, really: the truth is, the other kids treat Evan like a charity case. The teachers think it's sweet and wonderful and kum-bay-ya (sp?) when they carry his books over to him, or rush to pick him up when he falls, or hold his hand on the stairs -- and yes, it's better than them making fun of him. I think. Unfortunately he is not "one of them." He's a token. A mascot. He's a way to score points with the teacher. But nobody wants him at their birthday party.

    I have been wracking my brains for how to deal with this issue. I think I will make a separate post about it soon, because I would really love your input!

    OK, well . . . back to the group hug!

    Lisa

  2. #2
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    Wow!!!! Very insightful. I am wondering about similar things myself.
    I will be looking forward to your post. Maybe we can all put our heads together.
    LM

  3. #3
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    NancyR is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Hugs Lisa! It does put some things into perspective... I also get the moms telling me proudly how their child helped Leela do x, y, and z. I understand kids being compassionate and helpful but I do wonder about it, especially after all the name calling earlier in the year. 2 of the classmates have family members with CP - so I'm sure they get it, but still..

    I can say, my sister was held back for a 2nd year in kindergarten for 2 reasons. First, because of her delays (emotional and physical) due to equine encephalitis when 2 yo (she eventually did catch up). Secondly, the school sincerely felt that the kids in her year weren't nice kids (yes, they actually said that), and that the kids a year behind her would be a better social match. She did absolutely fine as a result of repeating kindergarten, and it had no impact on her academically or socially. The 2nd year she did focus more on social skills because she had the basics for reading, writing, etc...

    The bottom line is, you know Evan best. If you sincerely feel he should repeat kindergarten due to social concerns, please call a meeting of his team and express your concerns. Can you have the school psych observe Evan's social interactions before school is out for the year? We did observation for a half hour in class, and half an hour at recess.

    I'm sorry you missed your riding time! As you know I 100% get that! and the effort it takes!

    And, I'm so sorry you and dh are stressing over this.

    If you want to call me, please do!!

    Much love, N

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    amelia1 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Awww....that's not right. I'm glad you got a warning about the pool party. That would not have been good for Evan to see the party going on and realize that he wasn't included. (((Hugs))).

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    Restless is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default ((hugs)))

    I haven't been to this board in awhile, so I'm sorry I didn't see it sooner.

    Your post broke my heart for so many reasons. I'm sorry your DS wasn't invited to that party, and I feel strongly that instead of staying home, you should of done something fun and special with him - he didn't know he was not included, but somehow the hurt for you would of been lessened with a distraction. Dairy Queen works well here. LOL

    Regarding the Kindergarten issue...I held my DS back in Kindergarten last year due to immaturity and social issues, and all I can say is that it was the BEST...no, let me repeat that, the BESTdecision I made for my DS in a long time. Don't get me wrong, it was agonizing to make, and he really acted out in the beginning of this year, but after we got through it, it's been a wonderful year in every aspect. I truly feel that anything is possible for my DS now, and I know he will have all kinds of success in his future because of this second year of kindergarten. When he was in special needs preschool, the team looked at me like I was nuts when I questioned his readiness, and I went with their recommendation despite my reservations. I learned that the school personnel have their own agendas, and I am DS's only true advocate. His Kindergarten teacher did agree he needed the second year to grow up, and backed up our request, however, could not initiate it and/or suggest it because he kept up academically.

    I just want you to follow your guts when it comes to your DS, and don't be afraid to stand up to the school personnel if need be.

    Also, regarding the other children, all your DS needs is one truly good friend. Is there any child that shows genine interest in him that you could invite to a playdate or out to Dairy Queen?

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    Wow, Restless, you are so right, we should have done something nice - for all of our sakes! Ds didn't know he was missing a party, but he sure did know that we were moping around the house on a very hot Saturday afternoon. We all would have felt better had we gotten out.

    About holding back, I am so torn that it's not even funny. I so wish I had a strong feeling, because without one I'm relying on the school's judgment way more than I like to. I don't trust their motives, but it's not like I'm sure they're wrong about keeping him.

    I have a funny feeling that I will spend the next 12 years saying "should we hold him? I just don't know!"

    I can't help but make it into a bigger thing, because if I had managed to stay pregnant just *two more weeks,* (ds was born at 29w) ds would not have made the cutoff and we would not have this problem! So, another thing to feel guilty about. :-(

    Lisa

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    Restless is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default I was totally torn too

    Quote Originally Posted by LandB
    Wow, Restless, you are so right, we should have done something nice - for all of our sakes! Ds didn't know he was missing a party, but he sure did know that we were moping around the house on a very hot Saturday afternoon. We all would have felt better had we gotten out.

    About holding back, I am so torn that it's not even funny. I so wish I had a strong feeling, because without one I'm relying on the school's judgment way more than I like to. I don't trust their motives, but it's not like I'm sure they're wrong about keeping him.

    I have a funny feeling that I will spend the next 12 years saying "should we hold him? I just don't know!"

    I can't help but make it into a bigger thing, because if I had managed to stay pregnant just *two more weeks,* (ds was born at 29w) ds would not have made the cutoff and we would not have this problem! So, another thing to feel guilty about. :-(

    Lisa
    and then making the decision and dealing with DS's anger and horrendous behavior (the teacher had me on speed dial)...but when the dust settled, it was so *right*. His year was fun...yeah, he had fun the first time, but this time something clicked, and everything came easier, including the social stuff like picking up on social cues, non verbal behavior, etc. It was a fun year for both of us...as a Mom, it was a relief to see him excel, participate and blend in with everyone else. Whew.

    All I can do is continue to encourage you to follow your own instincts when it comes to your DS...you know him best, and are the most prepared to identify and advocate for his needs.

    ((Hugs)) I'm wisihing a fun filled, laughter filled summer for the both of you.

    ***raising my DQ cone to that****

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    zoeyz is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Restless
    Regarding the Kindergarten issue...I held my DS back in Kindergarten last year due to immaturity and social issues, and all I can say is that it was the BEST...no, let me repeat that, the BESTdecision I made for my DS in a long time.
    I'm really happy to read this! So glad his second year worked out so well in the end. I'm so glad we did this too.

  9. #9
    trek is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Thanks for the update. Go with your gut about retaining in kindergarten. School is what kids do for a living and social aspects are a huge part of it, most schools do not do enough in this area for children who have social difficulties.

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    Restless is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by zoeyz
    I'm really happy to read this! So glad his second year worked out so well in the end. I'm so glad we did this too.

    Today was the last day of school...I have a First Grader now!
    It was all I could do not to bust out in tears of happiness all day

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