Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy (Almost) Birthday

Asperger's, autism, friends, Pokemon, sports, soccer, birthdays, social eventsimage from Webweavers Free Clip Art

We had an early birthday celebration for Gus yesterday; nothing big, just my friend (who I also refer to interchangeably as my cousin) and her two younger sons. Her middle son is the same age as Gus and they both, ironically, are on the autism spectrum. We often try to get them together, but they usually sort of orbit each other, absorbed in their own private little galaxies.

A couple of weeks ago they were hanging out together and the youngest son's party. We were optimistic that if we provided a steady stream of video games, they'd actually play together. What fun! MM and the youngest son camped out with all the Pokemon toys and the Legos and played nicely all afternoon. Gus and A. did in fact play together as well! Win!

A is a little better at a game Gus just started playing, so at first he played alone and Gus cheered him on, excited to see how to beat the level. They stopped that game for a while and then we had cupcakes - organic apple cinnamon with homemade caramel frosting. (The frosting didn't work out so well this time, but it tasted like sugar so it got eaten - nice how that works out. Maybe next time, I'll just skip the work and go with straight sugar.)

After cupcakes, DH set them up to play a cooperative Mario game. We were a little concerned about fighting since they both tend to be very self-directed and think they're in charge (except when MM steps in - then everyone knows she's in charge). When we heard shrieks, all the adults jumped up to see what was going on. No conflict - just really involved in the game. After a while, they were both jumping up and down, laughing and having a grand time. These guys have known each other their whole lives, but after 8 years, they are finally becoming something like friends. How awesome is that?

Next weekend, we're hoping for part 2 of the birthday celebration with a couple of boys from Gus's class. I haven't heard from the parents, so I don't know if they are actually coming. I hope they do. If not, I'm not sure who will be more disappointed: Gus or me. As much as he seems to avoid interacting with other kids, it's becoming apparent that he wants to. So we've got to get him as many opportunities to do that as possible.

Thankfully, soccer is also starting next weekend, so he'll get to socialize a little then, too.

Do you seek out ways for your autistic child to socialize? What's worked for you?

Happy Easter!


  1. HI Im Claire Louise
    I love your fantastic blog. I also have a son with Aspergers his 8.
    I hope you dont mind me adding your link to my blog A boy with Asperger's. It's a blog aimed at other parents of children with ASD. Im sure my readers would love your blog. I love finding great blogs writen by parents of children with autism.x

  2. Hi Claire! I've also been to your blog and I'm honored to be added to your link list. Thanks! As soon as I get a blog roll going (for bloggers without buttons - I've got to get better organized), I'll add you as well. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. first, wow, i just noticed my badge on your site, i added yours to mine. What a neat surprise when i came here.

    As for the post, my son is much older, but we still try to get him to socilize with other kids. He really wants to socialize but at this age, the other kids really dont want to socialize with him. It seems to get harder findingg things for him to do. His best friend (yep, he had one) moved, and now all he says is he wants to go to school with billy (not real name). He doesnt quite get that Billy goes to a school far away. My son has alot of empathy BTW. Never will I buy that empathy stuff. Its harder for him to understand 'feelings' but he does get it.

  4. Happy B'Day Gus - A. sends a big hug to you.

    Love your blog, Andrea - try to read it


  5. John: thanks for stopping by! I think your site is great! It's hard when friends move away - my daughter is still getting over her first real friend here moving away and that was 3 years ago.

    Diana: Big hugs back at you both & I will pass the birthday wishes along! He'll be thrilled! And thanks so much for the compliment and for reading!


Welcome - thanks for sharing your insights!