About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Sunday, September 10, 2006
The Birthday Party
M went to her first mainstream party, invited by her friend T from her mainstream school. My wife D dropped her off and left me at home with a few chores. Checked out the rugby scores and there was a close match on the telly. D would be gone two hours, I was half way through one chore, the match was close to the end, I had time, so sat down to watch.

Fifteen minutes later with the side that was behind surging, I heard a key turn in the door, D was back! With me on the couch, oops busted.

"How come you're home, is everything all right?" I said fearing the worst, that maybe all the excitement had brought about a 'moment'.

"They asked if I wanted to leave her and go home, so I said yes."

"Did you tell them she has autism?"

"No I didn't."

When your child has a disability, it's not like you go around telling the whole world, especially in front of your child and her friends. But still I could feel the panic rising in me, what if M wasn't coping, what would she do? What if T's parents didn't know, what would they make of it? When a child with autism has a moment, it can be a difficult thing to witness. There is no reasoning with them, yelling or being angry sure doesn't work, that is like fuel for the fire. The best thing to do is to speak calmly and reassuringly and just be patient, maybe offer a hug even though you wouldn't think that would work, sometimes surprisingly it does.

Well the die was cast. M was at the party, we would just have to wait. It was a come as something starting with P party. M had chosen to be a princess, she looked absolutely gorgeous. The football could no longer hold my attention, so I got back to the chores, anything to pass the time. It was only an hour and a half, but it seemed to go on forever. Eventually it passed and we jumped in the car.

We arrived just as all the kids were stuffing their faces with party cake. T's mum spotted us and came over.

"She's been great, she has joined in with everybody and played all the games."

T's mum knew about M.

You don't know how happy she made us.
  posted at 11:40 am

At 12:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad it all worked out in the end, I can't imagine how worried you must have been!

At 2:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Letting kids go, giving them independence is the most difficult thing in the world to do under any circumstance. I certainly appreciate your apprehension. Glad it turned out well especially for M.
Breath deeply now.

At 10:04 pm, Blogger pentacular said...

Neil, so glad you had to go through that, and see that some things about M are going to be fine. It makes a big difference to lifestyle that you can just sit down and watch the rugby (or the GF) without worrying that your daughter (autistic or not) is coping with the everyday things of life. So much worry can be made on idle speculation and distorted expectation. Give M a big hug for us (G and C).

At 7:26 am, Blogger Laurie said...

That's so sweet. Good for all of you!

At 8:54 am, Blogger Gigi said...

Oh, that's wonderful! Good news, as pentacular says, that some things are going to be just fine. And compassionate people like T's mum go a long way toward helping to ease some anxiety, I imagine. I'm happy for you. :)

At 3:17 pm, Blogger Gillian said...

Autism is about as broad a description of how someone is as the word "fine".
Much and many will be the worries and the relief. Glad this time went well. It's so important to have some peer group acceptance and some peer parents who know enough and care.
Thanks for popping into my blog. I'm just going to read some more of yours while I wait for the boiled, mashed loquats to drip through the strainer in order to make some jelly.
Lovely day here in BM. Shame really because we are desperate for water!
Cheers Gillian

At 3:40 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi ellie, it's always tough learning to let go, more so for us in this setting. If it was a party with her other schoolmates it would not even have raised an eyebrow.

Hi tanna, thanks for your thoughts. Yes, Im breathing again now!

Hi pentacular, I knew I had to go through it, that's life. The hugs are done.

Hi laurie, I'm so happy it went well. Thanks for your thoughts.

Hi gigi, compassionate people really sums it up. The world needs more. It was good news too!

Hi gillian, sounds like you know something about the condition. The relief was great when it arrived. We'll be through your way Grand Final weekend, let us know where your stall is.

At 4:53 pm, Blogger Captain Blog said...

yeah! go M!
and thanks to T's mom, and her sensibility. You need more people like this in the world! :-)

At 6:48 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi captain blog, yes the world does indeed. But as we both know, the world isn't always like that, sigh.


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