The birthday girl

We celebrated Frances’s 10th birthday this weekend, and there were no meltdowns during the two parties. 

She covered her ears during the “Happy Birthday” song both times, but we kept the numbers very small at both the party for friends and the party for relatives, so she didn’t get overwhelmed in general.

At the party for friends, in addition to a few classmates, she had two friends from horse-riding lessons which was really nice.

Guess what theme predominated the gifts that she received? Horses. She got every manner of horse toy for which a ten-year-old horse-and-doll-loving little girl could have wished, and it was really sweet.

Contrast

Frances appears much younger socially than her almost 10 years, but she speaks like a much older child:

Me: How was your day? Was it really, really, really good?

Frances: Moderately.

I’ve read that this isn’t uncommon with ASD.

Achieving goals

The Pink Cup household is never boring. There is always a bustle of busy-ness around here. 

But, it is important to note change when it occurs, and there have been some pretty positive goals achieved in the past couple of months:

  • Frances will get her own breakfast now if I’m sick
  • Frances reluctantly agrees to take showers
  • Frances showers without any assistance 
  • Frances reluctantly agrees to wash her hair
  • Frances washes her hair without assistance
  • Frances reluctantly agrees to stay in rooms by herself 
  • Frances reluctantly stays in rooms by herself 

Though she is having trouble adjusting to big changes in her classroom, there is definitely more independence as she approaches her 10th birthday this month.

Dinosaurs, literally

One aspect of autism spectrum disorder that affects Frances is difficulty with figurative language or words that are not intended to be interpreted literally. As she ages, the difficulty becomes more pronounced but it doesn’t always involve idioms or euphemisms.

We were recently at an event for children with autism, and Frances was describing her proposed birthday theme of dinosaurs. It seemed like a good time for me to join in the conversation.

Me: We can have lots of dinosaurs at your party…

Frances: What?!?

Me: Sorry, images of dinosaurs.

Even though Frances would know intellectually that I did not intend to have dinosaurs at her party, the fact that I omitted “images of” in that sentence immediately left her thinking that I had said something nonsensical to her.

At any rate, in order to help her, I frequently use idioms, euphemisms, similes and metaphors intentionally in order to build her repertoire of non-literal language. Fortunately, there are also social dictionaries that include figurative language entries which may be of use to her as time goes on.

The trusty Barbie unit of measure

We’re at the end of a snowstorm which could be winter’s last hurrah. 

Late yesterday afternoon, while explaining the amount of snowfall to Frances, I said, “Oh, it’s less than half a Barbie in depth.”

So, dolls really are everywhere in our life now.

But dinosaurs weren’t pink…Right?

I have two daughters (9 and 13) and the closest I’ve ever come to a non-girly themed celebration was the Backyardigans party that I arranged for Pink Cup Sister’s 4th birthday.

Now Frances, who is obsessed with dolls and horses, has just announced that she wants a dinosaur-themed party to celebrate her 10th birthday!

I’m glad that she has a new area of interest though I strongly suspect we are just going to be seeing dolls of the dinosaur variety.

Well, I almost don’t know how to have a party that isn’t just as pink and as glittery as can be, so this is going to be a challenge for me. (The photo image I’ve done in jest.)

In the past, I would have said that if I ever start blogging about dinosaurs, then I have been taken hostage and I’m crying out for help.

But, here I am arranging a dinosaur party that isn’t pink in any respect.

I will keep you posted.

Possible birthday card?