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Birthday party

Posted by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 10:44 AM
  • 17 Replies

My son's birthdays are March 13th and March 16th.  Aidan (on the spectrum) will be turning 5 and Jojo will be turning 3.  I am having the most difficult time coming up with birthday ideas, especially ones that will keep both the party guests entertained and most importantly, Aidan.  He doesn't seem all that interested in parties, gifts, games, and all that.  I don't know what I can do for him.  I really do sometimes feel that he does enjoy himself, but he just isn't interested in much of the activities.  He doesn't interact with the guests (who have been for the past almost 5 years exclusively family and friends) and is running around nonstop.  Last year, we had their party at the house and he stripped down to his diaper a couple of times and pretty much spent a large portion of the party time in the playroom room by himself or jumping on the indoor trampoline we "hid" in our bedroom.  He came out for cake and pizza, but that was pretty much it.  I want so much for him to have fun at this years party, because he truly is an incredible, loving child who loves to smile, laugh, and have fun.....it's just finding the kind of party fun that he would be interested in.

Does anybody have some party ideas that worked for their child(ren) that they wouldn't mind sharing?  


by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 10:44 AM
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odie_driver
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 11:07 AM
1 mom liked this

For our kid's birthdays, we don't focus so much on other people as much as getting our kids to have fun. We plan things, and have things around, that they enjoy. 

If there is someone else your son reguarly plays with or a family member they see or interact with a lot, invite them over. 

Focus your activities. Kids with autism generally work better when they have something focused to do. Crafts are generally a hit and take a little prep. For instance, they could decorate their own birthday crowns to wear with stickers and glitter (Sorry, I have girls! LOL), or make birthday puppets from brown paper lunchbags. 

My kids always loved balloons. Besides cake it was their reason for having a party. Maybe have a balloon "bopping" contest to see who can keep their balloon in the air the longest. I use the term "contest" losely becuase it won't really matter who wins as long as they have fun!

Keep it short. Our kids get overwhelmed very easily. A party with lots of people, lots of noise, colours and activities can be a sensory nightmare for them. 

Prepare them. Once you've picked what you're going to do, show your child how to before the party begins. If you're going to be using glue, crayons or balloons - play with them days before party so your child is used to using that. Blow up a few balloons and toss them around - let your child feel them so they know what to expect. 


Smaller is probably better - for now. What seems like a lot of people for us, may seem like an out of control stadium crowd for our kids. Its scary. Having your home filled with family members and friends sounds wonderful, but may be a bit much to expect your child to endure at this point. 

Good luck!

Kittie26
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Honestly, if he's not interested, I think you should just have a family day. Just your immediate family. And do all of the things he loves best. That, in my opinion, is how to help him enjoy his day.

Then, do a separate party for your younger son that is just for him -- whatever kind of party he would like, do that, and let Aidan isolate or stim or whatever he needs to do to get through it. I think it's just too hard to try to make one party for both boys. You have to do what each enjoys and make sure they both feel special.

Would love to hear what you decide to do!

thatgirl70
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 11:13 AM

I agree with Kittie26. My son had such an awful time with his 3rd birthday party (we had it at home, but we had a lot of family over) that the next year we just kept it small and we went out to get pizza to eat. We did have a big family celebration a few days later (it was to celebrate several family members birthdays, not just his) but he was not the focus.

Since he's turning 5 this year, we are throwing him a "big" party. I think that he will be able to handle it. I haven't made much plans other than picking out the venue.

Haha_ma
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 11:15 AM


Quoting odie_driver:

For our kid's birthdays, we don't focus so much on other people as much as getting our kids to have fun. We plan things, and have things around, that they enjoy. 

If there is someone else your son reguarly plays with or a family member they see or interact with a lot, invite them over. 

Focus your activities. Kids with autism generally work better when they have something focused to do. Crafts are generally a hit and take a little prep. For instance, they could decorate their own birthday crowns to wear with stickers and glitter (Sorry, I have girls! LOL), or make birthday puppets from brown paper lunchbags. 

My kids always loved balloons. Besides cake it was their reason for having a party. Maybe have a balloon "bopping" contest to see who can keep their balloon in the air the longest. I use the term "contest" losely becuase it won't really matter who wins as long as they have fun!

Keep it short. Our kids get overwhelmed very easily. A party with lots of people, lots of noise, colours and activities can be a sensory nightmare for them. 

Prepare them. Once you've picked what you're going to do, show your child how to before the party begins. If you're going to be using glue, crayons or balloons - play with them days before party so your child is used to using that. Blow up a few balloons and toss them around - let your child feel them so they know what to expect. 


Smaller is probably better - for now. What seems like a lot of people for us, may seem like an out of control stadium crowd for our kids. Its scary. Having your home filled with family members and friends sounds wonderful, but may be a bit much to expect your child to endure at this point. 

Good luck!

See, the sad part is that I just realized that this year I have been trying to do parties that others would enjoy instead of focusing on what my boys would like.  My sil suggested renting a bounce house and whatnot, but Aidan will not get in that at all, even though he loves to bounce.  My youngest cries when he is there, so that would not work for him either.  This is the first year that I am going to focus on what the boys like and I feel bad for not having done so the past few years. 

I was totally thinking a craft party, only I don't know what kind of crafts to make.  I like your suggestions, I was also thinking of having the kiddos decorate their own cupcake, Aidan LOVED doing that at one of our Autism meetings.  

I love your ideas, especially the one about physically preparing them for a craft party by having them use glue, glitter, and whatnot.  I have only been showing him social stories, which is good and all, but it's just pics. 

All I invite to the previous parties were family and I had a couple of friends attend, that was probably too much for him, but he has come a long way since last year and his teachers say that he even plays with a few kids at school.  The same ones, but it's more than he did last year. 

Thanks so much for your suggestions!  I love them.

Haha_ma
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 11:18 AM


Quoting Kittie26:

Honestly, if he's not interested, I think you should just have a family day. Just your immediate family. And do all of the things he loves best. That, in my opinion, is how to help him enjoy his day.

Then, do a separate party for your younger son that is just for him -- whatever kind of party he would like, do that, and let Aidan isolate or stim or whatever he needs to do to get through it. I think it's just too hard to try to make one party for both boys. You have to do what each enjoys and make sure they both feel special.

Would love to hear what you decide to do!

I like that idea too.  It was just convenient for us to do their parties together since their bdays are only 3 days apart.  I do know that Aidan does more activities if he sees his brother doing it and vice versa.  They are playing together more, so I think that if I did a separate party for both of them, they would probably participate in each others little parties.  I will say that they both love different things and that is also a part of the difficulty in planning joint parties, I didn't think that would be a problem til they were like ten or so, lol.  Aidan loves trains, horses, and blocks...Jojo loves cars and anything Cars related. 

Thanks so much!

Haha_ma
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 11:24 AM


Quoting thatgirl70:

I agree with Kittie26. My son had such an awful time with his 3rd birthday party (we had it at home, but we had a lot of family over) that the next year we just kept it small and we went out to get pizza to eat. We did have a big family celebration a few days later (it was to celebrate several family members birthdays, not just his) but he was not the focus.

Since he's turning 5 this year, we are throwing him a "big" party. I think that he will be able to handle it. I haven't made much plans other than picking out the venue.

I can't even figure out where to have the venue.  Last year it was at our place, but we live in a duplex and while it is a pretty big place, it did get cramped.  It was about 8 kids including Aidan and Jojo, plus about 9 adults, and that appeared to be too much for him last year.  His teachers says there are several students in his class that he adores and that he even has a little girlfriend.  I was thinking about inviting his PPCD class, it is only about 8 students and these are kids he sees every single day, so he is used to them.  What is getting me though is I feel obligated to invite his cousins who he doesn't even see that much with the exception of my niece (he sees her like everyday) and he sees his classmates every single day at school.  He has more of a connection with his teacher and aides than he does with my dh's parents.  I know he would love to see them at his party, he always runs up them and hugs them when we see them out and about.   

aidensmomma508
by Wendy on Jan. 15, 2012 at 11:26 AM

we have my sons parties usually at my inlaws where he feels comfortable and like at home.  he doesn't always get into the activities but I feel as long as he's having his own fun that is ok, we have family and a couple friends.  I like the idea other posts of a  craft party or cupcake party that is cute, dollar tree has a craft section with like foam door knob hangers or picture frames kids could make...stick foam things on or color.  

Haha_ma
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 11:31 AM


Quoting aidensmomma508:

we have my sons parties usually at my inlaws where he feels comfortable and like at home.  he doesn't always get into the activities but I feel as long as he's having his own fun that is ok, we have family and a couple friends.  I like the idea other posts of a  craft party or cupcake party that is cute, dollar tree has a craft section with like foam door knob hangers or picture frames kids could make...stick foam things on or color.  

i am seriously leaning towards the craft party idea.  i can ask his teachers for some ideas and what kind of crafts he seems the most interested in making.  i love dollar tree, just thought i'd throw that in there, lol. 

thatgirl70
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Do you want it at a place where there is a lot of activity, like a pizza place or bowling or something, or do you want it at a quieter place? If quiet, check out your local library about reserving a meeting room. Usually that's fairly inexpensive, you can still decorate and just make sure you clean up afterwards.

And go for inviting his PPCD class if he'd enjoy it! I've thought about inviting my son's PPCD class too, but unlike your son he isn't all that close with his so it wouldn't matter if I did or not.

Quoting Haha_ma:


Quoting thatgirl70:

I agree with Kittie26. My son had such an awful time with his 3rd birthday party (we had it at home, but we had a lot of family over) that the next year we just kept it small and we went out to get pizza to eat. We did have a big family celebration a few days later (it was to celebrate several family members birthdays, not just his) but he was not the focus.

Since he's turning 5 this year, we are throwing him a "big" party. I think that he will be able to handle it. I haven't made much plans other than picking out the venue.

I can't even figure out where to have the venue.  Last year it was at our place, but we live in a duplex and while it is a pretty big place, it did get cramped.  It was about 8 kids including Aidan and Jojo, plus about 9 adults, and that appeared to be too much for him last year.  His teachers says there are several students in his class that he adores and that he even has a little girlfriend.  I was thinking about inviting his PPCD class, it is only about 8 students and these are kids he sees every single day, so he is used to them.  What is getting me though is I feel obligated to invite his cousins who he doesn't even see that much with the exception of my niece (he sees her like everyday) and he sees his classmates every single day at school.  He has more of a connection with his teacher and aides than he does with my dh's parents.  I know he would love to see them at his party, he always runs up them and hugs them when we see them out and about.   


odie_driver
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 1:57 PM

I LOVE the cupcake idea. We've done cupcakes and cookie decorations at home before just for fun. My girls LOVE doing it and then love helping with baking them before hand (I measure, they dump and take turns stirring! And now my oldest, she's turning 7 at the end of the month- is helping to measure too! YAY MATH! LOL)

What you can do is save an egg carton and cut it out, then use the little "dishes" to put decorations in so the kids aren't all getting their sticky fingers in eachother's sprinkles and whatnot. With our "particular" kids, it can be a problem so think ahead! :D Plus then it allows you to "ration out" the decorations and not just have a giant mess of sparkles, sprinkles and candies or whatever all over the darn place!

In Canada, we have a dollarama, which is the same mostly as the dollar tree (but I like dollar tree better LOL) - I'm always going in there and nabbing crafting stuff!! 

Quoting Haha_ma:


Quoting odie_driver:

For our kid's birthdays, we don't focus so much on other people as much as getting our kids to have fun. We plan things, and have things around, that they enjoy. 

If there is someone else your son reguarly plays with or a family member they see or interact with a lot, invite them over. 

Focus your activities. Kids with autism generally work better when they have something focused to do. Crafts are generally a hit and take a little prep. For instance, they could decorate their own birthday crowns to wear with stickers and glitter (Sorry, I have girls! LOL), or make birthday puppets from brown paper lunchbags. 

My kids always loved balloons. Besides cake it was their reason for having a party. Maybe have a balloon "bopping" contest to see who can keep their balloon in the air the longest. I use the term "contest" losely becuase it won't really matter who wins as long as they have fun!

Keep it short. Our kids get overwhelmed very easily. A party with lots of people, lots of noise, colours and activities can be a sensory nightmare for them. 

Prepare them. Once you've picked what you're going to do, show your child how to before the party begins. If you're going to be using glue, crayons or balloons - play with them days before party so your child is used to using that. Blow up a few balloons and toss them around - let your child feel them so they know what to expect. 


Smaller is probably better - for now. What seems like a lot of people for us, may seem like an out of control stadium crowd for our kids. Its scary. Having your home filled with family members and friends sounds wonderful, but may be a bit much to expect your child to endure at this point. 

Good luck!

See, the sad part is that I just realized that this year I have been trying to do parties that others would enjoy instead of focusing on what my boys would like.  My sil suggested renting a bounce house and whatnot, but Aidan will not get in that at all, even though he loves to bounce.  My youngest cries when he is there, so that would not work for him either.  This is the first year that I am going to focus on what the boys like and I feel bad for not having done so the past few years. 

I was totally thinking a craft party, only I don't know what kind of crafts to make.  I like your suggestions, I was also thinking of having the kiddos decorate their own cupcake, Aidan LOVED doing that at one of our Autism meetings.  

I love your ideas, especially the one about physically preparing them for a craft party by having them use glue, glitter, and whatnot.  I have only been showing him social stories, which is good and all, but it's just pics. 

All I invite to the previous parties were family and I had a couple of friends attend, that was probably too much for him, but he has come a long way since last year and his teachers say that he even plays with a few kids at school.  The same ones, but it's more than he did last year. 

Thanks so much for your suggestions!  I love them.


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