Reply To: Birthday party heartbreak

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It makes me sad to hear about your son’s sadness and your disappointment. I am 68 years old and wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until I was 47. My ADHD son who is 46 was diagnosed at 3 years old. Looking back at our history of friends, I can see that neither one of us could tolerate crowds. For me, a crowd is 3 people. I had 1 very close friend and 2 close but at arms length. My son had one friend in high school and maintains that friendship to this day.
First, you are talking about 6 and 7 year old kids who have no filters and say the first thing that pops into their heads. Second, if your son has one or two friends who can tolerate his different-ness help him cultivate that. If he can’t hold himself together at school, some can and some can’t, then the neuro-typicals in his class will be very judgemental. It seems to be the nature of kids to target the most ddifferent and vulnerable ones. Since introversion runs in my family, my son and I missed a lot of that childhood abuse.
What could have been Done differently? To build up the expectations for both of you was doomed from the start. Your son may have expected everyone who was invited to come and you obviously expected more. I understand that and there is no judgement, just “been there, did that” experience. When a person has expectations he is sure to be disappointed.
Encourage your son to appreciate the ones who did come. They are the potential lifetime friends. Ask him why he would want kids there who didn’t want to be his friend anyway? Let him know that it isn’t about him that kids didn’t come. It is all about the others and their parents who encouraged inappropriate behavior by not letting you know whether they were or were not attending and by encouraging them to participate in getting to know him better warts and all.
It is beyond understanding to ayear old why someone wouldn’t want to come to his party but it is one of life’s harsh lessons he has had to experience way too young. Neuro-typical adults are typically ignorant about ADHD and any of the non-visible disorders. Perhaps you or someone else knowledgeable could present a short talk on the subject from your son’s point of view in class or PTA?
The last thing I am going to say is this: Are you nuts?😜🙃😉🤗😵 just jesting. It would never occur to me to host a big party for 7 year olds. But that’s me. I’m a coward. Next time maybe you could just invite a friend or two, making sure they will come before telling him or have a surprise party.