Planning an Autism friendly birthday party

As it will be Dylan’s 4th Birthday this month. I though it would be a good idea to talk about Planning an Autism friendly birthday party. I am still learning what situations suits Dylan best. Dylan cannot express his likes and dislikes to me. So far these are just tips I have picked up along the way.

Pick a theme
Picking a theme based birthday party can be comforting, to be surrounded by something they are really interested in. It may invite them to be more socially involved in their party instead of shutting down. Whether the theme be farm animals, Lego, balloons or characters from their favorite movie. This may help them to relax, and be able to have fun which is the main goal. Last year Dylan was really into balloons and Monster inc. ( He was watching this movie on repeat daily!) I surprised him with his room covered in balloons the morning of his birthday and this gigantic monster inc balloon which he loved!

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Inviting Guests
Dylan can not express his wants or needs to me ( just yet) So he can not tell me who he would like to come to his party or how many. I know personally Dylan copes better in his own home surroundings with just a handful of family member’s. He would see these people on a regular basis so he is very comfortable around them.

Location Location Location
As I said above Dylan is more comfortable in his own home surroundings, so the idea of been in a party room where he would need to sit at a table surrounded by chips,cocktail sausages and chocolates (all foods and treats you would typically find at a kids birthday party) Dylan does not like the smell, taste or texture of these foods. It may make him feel physically sick. Although he does not eat birthday cake he does enjoy blowing the candles out. By having the party at home i can fill the party table with treats and all Dylans favourite foods. ( which may be nutri grain bars and jellies 😊) At the end of the day it is Dylan’s party. So definitely plan ahead if your child like Dylan has a lot of issues around different types of food.

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Activities
Dylan loves running jumping and crashing into absolutely everything!! His occupational therapist said Dylan seeks out that sensory input.He loves soft play centers where he can climb and run freely. Last year he went to Kids town soft play center with his cousins and then back to our house for a party.

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Birthday presents
This is normally the most exciting part for kids, but for kids on the spectrum this can be extremely emotional. What I have found that works best for Dylan is spacing out his presents a few days before his actually party. So at his party he would not have to many presents left to open, It takes the pressure off him by not feeling overwhelmed by all these new toys. Dylan has extreme emotions and this helps to avoid a melt down. A present a day for a week doesn’t sound bad to me 🙂 (I use this same technique coming up to to Christmas also)

The main goal is having a party that your child will enjoy whatever it may be. I better start Planning for Dylan’s 4th birthday party soon. I still cannot believe he will be four this year, it has gone so fast!!

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Hope this may be helpful to any parents planning an autism friendly party or to people attending a child birthday party that is on the ASD spectrum.

lots of love
Bigbrowsmessyhair

7 thoughts on “Planning an Autism friendly birthday party

  1. Gemma says:

    I provide respite for a 13 year old with autism and adhd. His 9th birthday party was a huge success as it was thoroughly planned like you have for your son. They also had a schedule that was available for all the children to refer to. His family used a spare room in the house as a sensory/chillout room for when things got too much. Good luck and let us know how you get on x

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      1. Gemma says:

        No problem. We gave the children warnings as to how long until they would be eating, when the party was finishing etc. When’s his birthday/party? x

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  2. Hannah says:

    This is a great post – my son had a monsters inc party for his 4th birthday this year. The location we picked had a sensory room and we unwrapped his presents when we were at home so he didn’t have the stress and pressure of opening them in front of people, we only ended up with one outburst so it went great! There definitely is some extra planning involved in planning a birthday party for a child with autism but it is definitely worth it in the long run 🙂

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  3. Hannah says:

    Aww sweet, It seems our little boys also seek the same type of sensory input too! definitely going to follow your blog to see the party planning/ updates on your son, Keep up the awesome work! 😉

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