Monday, 30 June 2014

Birthday Celebrations Part 2 for June!

Both of our ASD children celebrate their birthdays in June and this weekend has seen our youngest son turn six.  His birthday celebrations have been drip fed over the past couple of weeks to help reduce his anxiety. We have had a countdown chart for how many sleeps until his birthday party and another one showing how many sleeps until his birthday. He has had a present every couple of days to spread them out as he gets overwhelmed with everything on the actual day. 

Last wednesday he had six friends back from school for a party which had been carefully planned with a visual schedule to show him the order of events with two party games his choice. Towards the end of the party the stress was starting to show and he spent a good hour after everyone had gone home chilling in a quiet place. Then four hours attempting to build the new Lego creations he had been given as presents before he succumbed to sleep.  He had fun though and was the calmest we've seen him at his birthday party, so we are making progress.  The more preparation we do for him, the easier it gets.

We have been lucky that his birthday coincided with a school training day and we took advantage of this and went away for  the weekend to Drayton Manor Theme Park. Our youngest son was very excited at seeing the different trains on each floor of the hotel, but his anxiety surfaced once we were in the restaurant and foyer area of the hotel and he used his own calming methods of clicking his tongue, crawling around like an animal and hiding out of the view of other guests. The park itself proved to be overwhelming with the level of noise and volume of people but he enjoyed seeing Thomas the Tank Engine and going on Percy for a train ride. Once he's tall enough I think he will love the scary upside rides like our other two children as he is a daredevil at heart.  At the moment it is frustrating for him, as he can't do all the rides and so there is a fair amount of waiting time for him whilst his siblings go on rides, which is hard for any child.

The downside of theme parks these days is the number of funfair stalls they have where you can win a soft toy if you get two balls in a tub. With our youngest son's obsession of soft toys this was always going to be a difficult attraction to escape!! He set his heart on a Minion and soft toy 'Thomas' and do you think we could win one?!! We must have spent over £20 trying and his frustration at not understanding why you didn't get a toy after every two throws mounted.  We even asked if we could buy one but was told no, so we resorted to a trip to the toy shop in the theme park and came home with another couple of toys to add to his growing collection!!  

Now the question that all parents dread but our son is already asking 'how many sleeps until christmas?'!!  Only 177 days to go, but I'll be avoiding the countdown chart for that right now.  Instead we will be working towards the school holidays and the anxiety that it can cause with a change to normal daily routine.

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