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1 4th March 10:11
External User
Posts: 1
Default elementary school birthday party Question! (cerebral palsy)

Hi all,

I have an 8 year old child in Grade three. She is a really happy, chatty
girl who lives with cerebral palsy (due to prematurity). She's fully
integrated into the school system and gets along well with her peers. The
other day, she received a birthday party invitation to attend a friend's
'pajama party' birthday party. The girls are encouraged to wear their pj's
and have the option of going home at 9:30 pm or sleeping over until 9:30 the
next morning. My daughter was really excited (this is her second birthday
party she's been invited to since entering the school system, so it's a big
treat!) and wanted to go.

If you were in this situation, what would you do?

I called the parents and said she could go, but asked if I could attend as
well to help her with dressing/transferring/toileting, that kind of thing.
They were both very receptive and agreed. A day or two later, I heard from
other kids that a couple of the girls were just going home at 9:30 pm, which
made me think it would be okay to just go for the party and then take
Kristen home in the evening, and so I called and told them we'd be there for
the party, but not the sleepover. Later that night, I talked to a good
friend, who helped me to realized that, by not sending her for the sleepover
and not giving her the independence, that I was keeping her back possibly,
and not giving her the independence she deserves.

I am now hoping to call them back tomorrow to discuss their comfort level
with me leaving my daughter there for the sleepover, and to call me should
they need me. Ack! I have flipped back and forth a few times here! I am
so overprotective of my daughter, and I also have a son, who I love just as
dearly, but I do not worry about as much, as he is an ambulatory six year

I am really curious as to what others would have done in this situation, and
if there's any other parents out there that can relate to the struggle with
being overprotective and also 'giving independence' to our dear kids?!

Thanks so much

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2 4th March 10:11
External User
Posts: 1
Default elementary school birthday party Question!

I agree that it is a thin balance line we walk trying to give them independence
without being uncomfortable with situations. I think my tendency would be to
allow her to attend the party alone and then pick her up before the slumber
portion. Depending on her condition, if she could do the party portion with
minimal assistance, that would be a great opportunity alone and if other girls
are not spending the night, she will not feel as though she is being
unincluded. Good luck - I hope it works out and she has a great time!

Close To My Heart Consultant
Mom to Aimee, dedicated college student
and Jacob, CP kid and aspiring mafia godfather
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3 4th March 10:11
markiosi probertios1
External User
Posts: 1
Default elementary school birthday party Question!

She should coordinate with the other pick up parents so her daughter would
not feel singled out and would blend in. At this age, blending is most
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4 4th March 10:11
External User
Posts: 1
Default elementary school birthday party Question!

A question: What would your daughter like to do?

If you're comfortable with the family she'll be with, if they AND your
daughter both are comfortable with dealing with whatever needs your
daughter might have, and you know that the other kids present are good
kids, then I'd let her spend the night. It could be a great
experience for your daughter to be just "one of the kids". It could
also give insight to the other kids, too.

I do understand that you want to protect your daughter, but in this
case it seems to me that there's a good chance that things will go
well and she'll gain some real self confidence.

What's the absolutely worst, nastiest, most rotten possible case
scenario? I'd bet it might involve embarassment and betrayal by her
friends accompanied by many tears. If I were you, I might prepare for
that, but cerainly not expect it. If it does happen, then you can
help her through it and she'll be OK.

I'm not (quite yet) an official daddy, but I was once a kid with CP
who was and remains quite independent and tough-minded. My folks
allowed and encouraged my independence and sometimes I got hurt
physically and otherwise. I also terrified my parents on a regular
basis. I learned at a young age that things don't always go well and
who my friends were (and weren't). That has served my well as I've
gotten older.

With that said, I know that your situation is not one I understand
intuitively, however that may change in very short order. My wife and
I are adopting a baby from China, I just saw my daughter's picture for
the very first time this week, and the fact that I have to wait until
January to go get her from the orphanage in central China makes me
positively NUTS!

Best of luck to you and your daughter and please feel free to drop a
line if I can be of any help.

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