Thursday, February 15, 2007

YOU'RE INVITED... BUT YOUR TWIN CAN'T COME


Not very often am I at a loss for words. Ask anyone that knows me well (aka MamaLee - she'll verify this in a second)... that when it comes to rants, discussions or anything vocal - I'm in my ultimate element. However, right now I'm truly stumped as to how to handle a certain situation.

For those of you that are not familiar, I have fraternal twin girls, one that is autistic. Both of them are attending a junior kindergarten program at a specialized school. It's an intergrative program that allows typical children to mix with the disabled children; which I think is great! So for JK I wanted them both in the same class; to help them with their communication (Kierra lost pre-acquired speech and is just recently starting to talk again). There are other children in their class that are typical. Most of them are autistic though; so there are 3 other typical little girls that are good friends with my daughter Jenna. I'm told that Kierra prefers to seek out the same girls to play with in class as well.

Well the other day, Jenna brings home a birthday party invitation. She's waving it wildly at me and tells me "M" is having a party!! She's so excited because this is her very first party that is not neighbor or relative related. Of course I'm delighted for her; as she goes on and on about the cake and games and such. I look in Kierra's backpack looking for an invitation and find nothing. I check her pockets of her coat and nothing. I gently ask Jenna if "M" gave Kierra an invitation to the party as well. Jenna tells me, "No only I'm going to M's party." My heart falls and I feel so sad all of a sudden. I can't understand how anyone can invite one sister and not the other, even if the other sister has a disability. I understand that the invitee is a typical child; but still.

I'm at a loss as to what to do. Part of me feels that if both weren't invited, then they both shouldn't go. Then I think why should I punish Jenna for it? I hate the fact I have to even deal with this. This is a reality of having a special needs child. It's nothing foreign to me unfortunately. People invite Jenna to play at their houses without extending an invitation to her sister. Kids play with Jenna more at playgrounds than with Kierra. It's a sad thing for me to see because it truly breaks my heart. I know sometimes it's hard to understand why a four and a half little girl can't talk like the other kids. So do I email the mom and ask if it would be ok if Kierra came? I could assume she didn't know that the girls were sisters? Or do I just let it go? I honestly don't know... but how do you explain to your little girl when her sister heads out the door with a present in hand, that sometimes the world just sucks?

3 comments:

nancy said...

I am so heartbroken for you, and Kierra.

The single invitaion dilemma hasn't happend to us - yet. I know it will. What I plan on doing when it does, is use that time to do something very special and one on one with the twin who is not going to the party. Something that he loves to do. Something that will be totally special between just the two of us. Is that an option for you?

Perhaps I am out of line since I do not have a child with a disability, and I apologize if I am. I am just sharing my ideas in with you in hopes that it may help you at least a little bit.

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

I'm sorry.
I would verify to make sure the 'Mom' even knows they are sisters...ask her. You are your child's advocate...you need to protect her and make sure she gets invited to those crazy parties when her twin is.....go Mamma...

Em said...

I'm not the parent of a twin so I don't know the etiquette associated with parties and such. But I am the parent of a special needs child on the autism spectrum. For us it was heartbreaking as his younger sister caught up and then passed him by in the social areas of life. Most families just don't have to deal with kids several years younger becoming the more sophisticated and social while the older child matures so much more slowly - if at all.

I feel your pain and your uncertainty about how to handle things. It is never easy because we are parents cruising through uncharted waters. Every day brings a new and more difficult decision.

Good luck with this one.