Thank you all for sharing and letting me know I am not alone in this struggle. My son has a heart of gold and it broke my heart when I continuously noticed people (children and adults) shutting him out. Long story short, we as parents share that common pain. As for birthdays, we keep it small, just our immediate family that lives in our house. We made it a tradition a while back where everyone gets to pick their favorite meal/dessert and either I make it or we’ll go out. They also get to pick a fun activity they want to do and we all do it. Both of my kids look forward to their birthdays. But before this happened, we had to have a very candid conversation with my son about how people act/treat people and we talked about how it made him feel (I left my feelings out of it because I wanted him to know it was all about him). After he talked about it, we would pull the positives out of the negatives and he’d be back to his happy, helpful self…It always amazed me how things could roll off of him like a bead of sweat… I truly believe that because of those conversations he was able to reflect on his own behavior and begin focusing on using strategies. I’m not saying bouncing and being overly excited do not happen still, because it does. We made the decision to pull him out of private school and allow him to do school at home. OMGosh! What a difference that has made! His self-esteem has been repaired, he’s willing to reach out to the youth at church and low and behold, he has formed some bonds. Nothing too strong because he is very discerning and analytical of a person before letting them get too close. I’m not complaining. Keep your head up, hang in there and know you’re not alone and breathe! (smile).