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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Aspergers at a Party

This weekend we took Aspergers to a party and we really had fun!


Pretty flowers from the party
I realized last night, that the majority of my blog posts lately have been about Red. He has been the biggest pain in my ass -the source of most of my frustration  --and for that, he has received a lot of the limelight and attention lately.  It's sad but true. I hardly have anything left over after dealing with him. So poor Blue has been out there surviving the best he can, without much help from me.It's actually a really good thing.

I have to say, while Red may be a quite a Mama's Boy, Blue is so much more independent. It brings a huge smile to my face every morning as I hear him get up on his own, before I get out of bed. He goes downstairs, makes his breakfast, packs his lunch and is ready for school on time every single day! He is using his supports at school -his Case Manager, his favorite science teacher (who helped him start a club for kids on the spectrum), Mrs. E. who worked with him at home quite a bit over the summer. (She also teaches in the behavioral program at the high school.)

I don't get phone calls from the high school during the day.  He handles his business, including his grades and homework with zero prompts from me! He even takes his showers without me reminding him. He and Red are like night and day. 

So over this past weekend, my best friend was having this fancy smancy party. Her teenage girls who Blue has known since he was a toddler were going be there, along with a number of their friends from school. Since I can never leave Blue and Red at home together I thought,lets bring Blue along

But what if it's socially awkward for him with the girls when they are surrounded by their high school friends? Then he'll just feel bad (and want to talk to me the whole time). Let's also bring his best friend Jake. At least they will have each other to talk to and hang out with.

I love, love, love Jake! He is also on the spectrum. He is has such an inquisitive mind, a great sense of humor, a love of music and of course, he's not shy at.all.

The party is a blast! Jake jumps right in with every adult he meets saying, "Hi. So did you go to high school in the 80's or the 70's? What year did you finish? So that makes you (such and such) age. (Which of course, he nailed on the head every time. Sorry ladies if you didn't want to talk about your age.)  Did the kids where a lot of long hair back then? Did the guys have facial hair?" And so on.

Blue introduces Jake to the girls.  The boys were actually pretty social mostly with T's friends, who are in their last year of middle school.  According to Blue, they were a little more approachable than the high schoolers who were B's friends.

There was a moment during the party when Blue came to me and says, I haven't had a chance to talk to B~ all day. She's been around all of her friends.  "Guess what kid? I haven't talked to her mom (my best friend) very much either. She's entertaining a number of guests. I can't expect for her to stand around talking to me the whole time. That kind of comes along with the territory of a big party." He got it and let it go for the moment. When things slowed down at the end of the night he finally got a few words in with B~.

The boys roamed around, enjoying the free flowing food, drinks and the live band. There was even a video game truck. Every once in a while, Jake would disappear. We would find him at the piano inside the living room of the house playing Beatles, Eagles and other 70's rock songs by ear.  

When the party ended and most of the guest left, we were invited to stay for more wine and hot pizzas. Jake pulled out his guitar and played.  The few people who lingered behind made requests and sang along. It was awesome!

The funniest thing about the party that I noticed was that I actually had to take quite a few sensory breaks. There was a live band, and even a belly dancer who coaxed me out onto the dance floor for a little belly dancing lesson.  Some of us have much more belly to work with than others. I'm just sayin.  

I met and had conversations with a lot of interesting people, including a Neuro Scientist (totally held my own through that conversation). After a while, I had to find a quiet place just to sit, hide and decompress. This NEVER happened to me when I was younger. I was always the life of the party. The more talking with friends, meeting people, dancing and drinking the better!

I don't have Aspergers.I have self-diagnosed myself with A.D.H.D, which I've probably always had. I also have a smidgen of anxiety, that came along with motherhood. And yes ...I was the one who needed sensory breaks.

My world has changed so much. As I approach 50,I am constantly barraged by noise, chatter, arguing, preaching, talking, fighting.  I no longer thoroughly enjoy the constant loud noise of a party or a nightclub. I have to find a quiet place to pull myself together (a bathroom, an empty chair in a corner.) I find a pet or a baby to play with. I'd much rather sit one on one having a glass of wine or a cocktail or three, with a few of my girlfriends than be at a big party.

I have also given myself a diagnosis of P.T.T.D. (Post Traumatic Talking Disorder). Really. It's a thing. Just ask any mom of an Aspie.  It comes from living in the war zone that I call home, where it is almost never quiet.