Homework task to organise a party ARGH!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2008
Homework task to organise a party ARGH!
8
Thu, 03-04-2010 - 5:54am

I have to post this here because you are the only people who will get why I went AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH when I read Euan's (11, Aspie) homework assignment for this week. I can't fault the school, they are doing astronomy as a topic in part because this is one of Euan's obsessions, and up until now he has been in his *element*, racing to get to school, even condescending to work in groups (!!!!) on projects, eating up his dinner so he can get extra 'homework time' (!!!). They have a grid of tasks to complete by the end of March, and they have to do 4 tasks and chose any others.


But one of the four compulsory tasks is 'organise a star gazing party'. oh my fricking gaaaaaaaaaawd! Of course all the other kids are excited about this, inviting friends for sleepovers, borrowing binoculars and telescopes, printing out invitations....


My poor poor Aspie is tying himself in absolute knots, and *my* anxiety levels are already through the roof. Although Euan gets on well socially at school he still doesn't *do* 'normal' socialising - he never goes to play at other kids houses, never has friends over, never does anything 'social' that isn't within a highly structured environment (eg scouts, or chess club, or a supported activity through his disabled children's club). He just can't cope with it, he finds it highly stressful and goes into meltdown, even though *actually* his social skills (from what I and his teachers observe, anyway) are very good (he can play, take turns, keeps eye contact, doesn't dominate the conversation, he's witty and funny and can cope with a certain amount of teasing)


Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying that he can't just 'host a party'. His last birthday party we arranged a trip to a butterfly centre, he invited 10 kids and only 1 came (this is a lovely girl who also accompanies him on some of his disabled kids clubs outings - her mother works as an aide at the school, she is one of the few people who ever comes to the house and for whom we have a phone number!) I have said he can 'host a party' for his family (eg he could make us a stargazing quiz or contact sheet, we could make star cookies, we could try and find a clear night and head away from the city to find a dark place to observe stars, we could help his little brother and sister make star puppets, etc) but obviously, this isn't the kind of 'party' the other kids are doing so it isn't 'right'. I have also suggested that he invite his one friend over and we could take them stargazing - but this isn't a 'party' (apparently). Oh oh oh oh!!!


I'm not 'allowed' to ask his teacher for guidance, according to him. She was very clear that the kids have to organise this themselves - and I can well believe that the 29 NT kids in that class are having a fantastic time and learning a lot. At the moment I am just redirecting him toward the other tasks that he is completing with enthusiasm and trying to think what on earth we can do about this....


help! I'd know in a heartbeat what to do if this was one of the NT kid's assignments - hell, we could just have neighbourhood kids over with star cookies and a telescope and a quiz and be done with it - but this has turned into a HUGE NIGHTMARE. Why the bloody hell can't they just look stuff up in books and write essays like we had to in my day??


*sigh*


Kirsty, mum to Euan (11, Aspergers) Rohan (7, NT) and Maeve (4, NT)

"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"


Follow my blog on http://mumsnet.com/blogs/kirsteinr/


 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Thu, 03-04-2010 - 7:00am

Oh dear. I empathize.

the task is "organize a party" Hmmmm. Can he write out all the steps and do it on paper without actually hosting?

OR

Can he organize someone else's party? Maybe for a friend, relative, sibling or (ahem) parent? So he can be the party planner (like a wedding planner), but not have to actually be part of the party?

That's all I've got. Sorry.

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com
Avatar for sselwa
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 03-04-2010 - 9:47am

Maybe you should talk to the teacher anyway.

Susan, mom to Sam 11 and Connor 9
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2008
Thu, 03-04-2010 - 10:30am

Maybe you could have him organize a star gazing party for adults? I know that Graham socializes more easily with adults than kids his age, so I just thought it might be a viable solution.

You could invite some family friends, people Euan already knows, and make a nice evening of it.

Euan may reject this solution as well, but it's a thought.

Andrea, mom to

Graham
Miles
Anson

Andrea, mom to

Graham
Miles
Anson
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-2006
Thu, 03-04-2010 - 1:07pm

I have to say I laughed all thru your post Kirsty lol.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005
Thu, 03-04-2010 - 9:56pm

I agree with the others about quietly getting the teacher to re-define for ds what can qualify as a party.

When you mentioned scouts, I wondered whether ds could organize a star-gazing party for one of his scout meetings? He could probably even earn some sort of scout credit for it, too.

Avatar for ribrit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2001
Sun, 03-07-2010 - 10:23am

I would be mad about this assignment even for a child who is NT. This is a costly, time consuming, ridiculous assignment.


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2008
Sun, 03-07-2010 - 8:15pm

I dunno. Maybe I'm missing something, but I see it as a pretty inventive, fun way to make certain a child has learned something about astronomy. In order to teach others, you have to know it yourself first. I'm not certain what you mean by costly either since some photocopies of star charts and the knowledge test doesn't add up to much.

It's stressful for Euan since he has difficultly socializing and has high expectations for himself, but that's a different matter.

But as I said, maybe I'm missing something.....

Andrea, mom to

Graham
Miles
Anson

Andrea, mom to

Graham
Miles
Anson
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2008
Mon, 03-08-2010 - 4:35am

I might be missing something too, but I am only stressing about this because it is hard for Euan. The kids often have 'organise a party' type homework assignments - eg they all worked really hard on Christmas stories and part of the assignment was to present the story to their parents/siblings/friends, including providing snacks and entertainments, and it was for everyone from 4-11 - Euan and Rohan really enjoyed that, as did we. I think most of the kids are enjoying the assignment because they see it as fun, and it really isn't hard to go look at the sky and see if you can spot constellations. If I could only persuade Euan that that is sufficient for a 'party' we'd all be happy.


but it is still a while off the deadline and actually he is trying to come up with a solution himself...which in the long run will help him a lot if he can. He's going to have a *lot* of situations like this in life, where the social context rather than the task is going to freak him out, and he is going to have to learn coping strategies for them, so I am going to hold off talking to his teacher about it for now - but the scouts idea might be a good one, particularly if there is a astronomy badge...hmm!


Kirsty, mum to Euan (11, Aspergers) Rohan (7, NT) and Maeve (4, NT)

"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"


Follow my blog on http://mumsnet.com/blogs/kirsteinr/