I HAVE TO get to Lollipops by 3.30pm and it’s not going well. Lollipops is a children’s party venue which my support group has hired for the afternoon. We’ve got it to ourselves from after school until 6pm. There are going to be jumping castles, computers, ball crawls, mazes, merry-go-rounds, all sorts of fun and games for kids up to 12. I want my son Luke to go. But it’s raining and I have no car because my husband has taken ours to work his usual long hours in a faraway suburb. The last time my group put on a party, Luke had a ball. That was six months ago.
I’m hooked on finding places and ways to maximise his happiness and mine. Luke is six, in year 2, and has Asperger’s syndrome/high-functioning autism (AS/HFA). He goes to a normal public school, where he is good at academic work but needs an aide to help him in the playground, where he can be rigid and obsessional. It’s hard for Luke to play and to make friends. He has not scored an invitation to a birthday party since he was four. He does not have what he describes as “a best friend to have a special bond with”, though the children at school are very kind and tolerant of his unusual little ways. Lately, Luke has noticed he has “more worries than other children” and that “I don’t have a special bond with anyone”.
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