Colin had a birthday party today at a Gymnastics facility for one of the girls that was in Colin's class last year at the daycare. It was a really great birthday party because unlike the typical bounce house parties, this one required all of the kids to stay together in a group and follow directions from station to station. There were two employees who would give the directions and the assist as the kids moved through the station. Most of the stations required a lot of hard work in order to complete each task. In most new situations, Colin requires time to process and observe before he feels comfortable participating, especially when he is nervous because it's big, loud, or just overwhelming. However, even though Colin was at first nervous, he only needed some assistance from me at times (he mostly just needed to know I was there) and was pretty determined to do it all without help.
While I always love observing Colin in these situations because I like to see that he is paying attention, following directions, and doing what everyone else is doing, today I really enjoyed watching Colin interact with the other kids. I have talked recently about how socialization is a skill that Colin does struggle with at times. He often prefers to seek out an adult versus a peer and because he can't communicate in the same way as the other kids, conversations tend to be really short lived. I put up a video on instagram today about how I enjoyed watching Colin interact with the other kids, particularly the birthday girl. I watched her direct Colin to sit down next to her (one of the times he was nervous) and she was just really sweet when she would talk to him. There was another little boy from his class last year who was really excited to see Colin when he got there and would occasionally come over and have conversations with him. Seriously, kids are so much better than adults because even if they see differences (the little boy would just ask me to help him to understand what Colin was saying) it doesn't matter to them.
Colin had a really good time and was really exhausted when it was over. It was a perfect birthday party for Colin because he had to follow directions, stay with the group, everyone waited for everyone to finish, and it was much more controlled than most birthday parties. It also allowed him an easier way to interact with the other kids.