Making Allies

Such a fabulous day, I genuinely had a lovely day with the children today. Shocking, I know! This morning we just chilled at home and Jude did his funny little thing with building blocks…

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Look at those perfect lines! He moves the blocks around in a specific method only inferred by Jude, it’s quite funny to watch. I’ll try and record him on the sly tomorrow.

Lunch was amicable, Emmeline even ate her food rather than just throwing it so that’s a vast improvement on the week and I’m convinced her calmer behaviour is due to the return of her siblings. She has been so happy today, it’s lovely to see.

Jude’s absence from this pictures is because he sits at the normal table to eat due to his long, gangly legs not fitting under this little red table any more!

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The main highlight of today was a party we went to this afternoon; the birthday party of one of Jude’s school friends. I wasn’t anxious about it at all because I knew it would be frequented by children similar to and familiar with Jude himself. The invitation itself was beautifully worded, stating that everyone is welcome and to just come along and have fun no matter what your level or comprehension of social situations may be. There was an AWESOME disco dome for the children to play in, which is basically an enclosed bouncy castle with flashing lights and music inside. There was also an arts and crafts table, cake decorating and a face painter! Honestly, I was actually really excited about attending as I knew Jude would love it and the girls would have a wonderful time too.

The picture on the right is a bit blurry because Jude was bouncing up and down from everyone else’s momentum.

Jude’s always funny on bouncy castles. He never stands up on them, rather he sits (as demonstrated above) and just goes along with everyone else bouncing…thankfully Elsa was in there doing backflips so there was plenty of movement for him to experience.

They all had such fun and unusually for us attending a party en masse, I happily left Jude to his own devices knowing he’d be safe and not a hassle or in danger of annoying any body. I also didn’t need to worry about how people would interpret him and his mannerisms; it sounds insane but I regularly have apprehension about how people will read Jude’s rather forward approach to questioning complete strangers and have witnessed first hand him being blatantly ignored or given one word (i.e. “bugger off”) answers.

Overall, it was fab. Jude played for a while and then chose to sit and observe the party from the comfort of a couch on the side (next to the food table of course), Elsa made friends with a couple of girls and Emmeline happily bumbled around the room, smiling at everyone and watching the goings on.

What was also amazing to see was Jude’s reaction when friends of his turned up at the party. He regularly called people’s names across the room and shouted hello to lots of friendly faces; I can only imagine the confidence it gave him. Normally, Jude is the person ignored at parties because of his somewhat peculiar habits but today it was all about him. Lots of parents chatted to Jude and made him feel special. One boy he particularly likes in his class came over and gave him a hug and his mother and I had a chat and agreed to meet up later in the holidays so the boys can play in the park.

And this is something that also helps me. Making an ally, someone who knows where I’m coming from when I say I can’t wait for the summer holidays to come to an end, when I say how hard it is to try and see friends and family and how I prefer to avoid interactions because of the problems that may entail. We, as parents of disabled children, need to make allies and face our issues and basically the whole world, together. When discussing how hard things are with someone on your wavelength, it doesn’t appear as serious or even as horrendous and this normalising of our situations can only help everyone involved…or even those not directly involved. Are there many social groups for parents of disabled children? I certainly don’t know of any local to me but then again, I seem to be a few years behind everyone in the uptake.

So, I’m going to embrace the positivity of today. Thank you to the hosts of the party today; I hope everyone left with the same level of confidence as we all did. A x

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