The Sorting Hat – Autism Through The Years

As I dropped my daughter off at a birthday party yesterday I realised just how far she had come.

At three I would have doubted she would ever be invited to a party, never mind that she would want to go. At five birthday parties were fraught, Meltdowns frequent, I dreaded them more than the dentist. When parents stopped staying at seven, I would sit outside in the car praying she would cope, suspecting she wouldn’t.

Fast forward to yesterday aged nine.

The party was Harry Potter (which just happens to be Number One’s thing) themed. This meant she was up, dressed and ready by nine a.m. for a two p.m. birthday party. Her outfit had been carefully chosen; cool yet themed: jeans, a Griffindor Quidditch T-Shirt, a denim jacket and a Griffindor badge.

This was a girl on a mission.

The party invitation, declared there would be O.W.L.S. (Wizard Exams – for those of you not initiated), Number One declared she would come top.

I inwardly worried, and outwardly warned her not to be upset if there were mistakes in the questions.

Parents we reminded her are only human. Anyone can make a mistake.

Upon arrival we were greeted by a real life owl, and I realised this was going to be a pretty impressive party. I began to relax, there was clearly some wizard expertise in this family. Maybe all would go to plan.

And then came the sorting hat.

Number One, looked at me in horror. Firstly because she hates being the centre of attention and secondly because she was desperate to be in Griffindor.

Her eyes pleaded with me to rescue her, but her legs walked to the hat.

Then she was sorted. Into Hufflepuff.

Silence reigned as she took her badge and walked into the hall. Her eyes glared. Her body language threatened meltdown as the words “I am not wearing that” came out of her mouth. I bent down and gave her a choice, she could stay calmly – even despite the imperfections that the party held or she could come home and do something else.

She chose to stay.

Two years ago she wouldn’t have done that. Her choice would have been different. She made a wand, shopped at Honeydukes and flew an owl.

She not only survived the party but enjoyed it.

What a difference a few years can make…

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75 Comments

  1. Reply

    Renee @ Mummy Tries

    May 8, 2017

    That sounds like amazing progress, and it’s great to hear how far she’s come. My hfa daughter is almost 8, and although we don’t have many social problems to worry about, we have many other challenges instead. Such a roller coaster! Stay strong mama xx

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 8, 2017

      Thanks so much, you too x

  2. Reply

    daydreams of a mum

    May 8, 2017

    This must have been a real proud moment for you both!!!
    Also I have HUGE party envy…..I want to go to a Harry Potter themed party!! #postsfromtheheart

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 8, 2017

      It really was, lol me too, I love Harry Potter x

  3. Reply

    Rainbows are too beautiful

    May 8, 2017

    Almost in tears. Anthony is nine at the end of the month, his progress over the last few years has amazed us too. Well done you all. xxx

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 8, 2017

      Bless you, I often think if we’d known then what we know now we would have worried much less x

  4. Reply

    Anne

    May 8, 2017

    She did so well, I can see why it could have gone so differently.
    #postsfromtheheart

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 8, 2017

      Thank you x

  5. Reply

    Jenny @ thebrickcastle

    May 8, 2017

    Oh bless her that’s so fabulous. What amazing control – she’s a star. I know it so well, that moment you see their face wrinkle, the eyes glare wet with tears and the mouth purses up, and you know with 99% surety that either sobbing or an angry meltdown will follow. It’s hellish watching them, especially when you can’t leap in with a shiny distraction or make it instantly better. Well done to her 🙂

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 8, 2017

      Exactly, that is always the worry. Thank you so much for your lovely message x

  6. Reply

    Tina

    May 8, 2017

    This is what I love about the creating memories on a blog in that it allows you to remember some of the times that were difficult and see the progress that is not always visible to you as the parent as you’re often to close to see. How brilliant that she accepted the chosen House. I don’t think I would have!!

    #PostsFromTheHeart

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 8, 2017

      I totally agree, it’s so lovely to have a record of those precious moments x

  7. Reply

    Holly - Little Pickle's Mom

    May 8, 2017

    Oh well done Number One! I can full well imagine how proud you must have been – and it sounds like an amazing party!

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 8, 2017

      It does, doesn’t it? Are we too old for Harry Potter parties? Maybe when I’m 40 x

  8. Reply

    Mama Grace

    May 8, 2017

    Wow, that’s a big change but also great parenting. A choice and empowering her. #PostsFromTheHeart

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 9, 2017

      Thank you so much x

  9. Reply

    Astrid

    May 9, 2017

    Wow, I’m so glad Number One enjoyed the party! As an autistic adult, I remember being invited to a birthday party that wasnt’my sister’s exactly once. I was about seven at the time and it was a disaster. My sister’s birthday parties were usually ruined by my meltdowns too. I understand the trouble Number One had adjusting to the role she was assigned, but she did great! #PostsFromTheHeart

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 9, 2017

      Birthday parties are hard. I’m really proud of her x

  10. Reply

    Colette

    May 9, 2017

    What a huge step for her. I hope she was able to enjoy the party even as Hufflepuff! x

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 10, 2017

      Thanks so much x

  11. Reply

    five little doves

    May 12, 2017

    That’s amazing at how far she has come!! No wonder you are so proud, a huge step forward. #postsfromtheheart

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 12, 2017

      It really is, thank you x

  12. Reply

    Enrique Jendras

    May 13, 2017

    Wonderful Blogpost Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 13, 2017

      Thank you for reading x

  13. Reply

    Becci - The UnNatural Mother

    May 14, 2017

    Wow , this is a result !! Glad to hear she had a great time #postsfromtheheart

  14. Reply

    Crummy Mummy

    May 15, 2017

    What a turning point! It sounds like you handled it perfectly #postsfromtheheart

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 15, 2017

      Ahh that’s kind of you. Thank you x

  15. Reply

    Jane - Our Little Escapades

    May 16, 2017

    What amazing progress, I’m glad she decided to stay and a meltdown didn’t happen because of the sorting hat. I must say that sounds like an amazing birthday party. Now I just need to get my little boy into Harry Potter so I can have one ;0)

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements
    x

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 16, 2017

      Hahaha definitely worth a try x

  16. Reply

    Sophie's Nursery

    May 16, 2017

    It sounds like the most wonderful party!! I love that she was dressed by 9 a.m. bless her! What a wonderful achievement, you must have been so so proud 🙂 xx

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 16, 2017

      It really was, and I was a very proud mummy x

  17. Reply

    Ali - We Made This Life

    May 22, 2017

    It does sound like she has come really far, you must be so pleased x

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 22, 2017

      I really am, she’s done so well x

  18. Reply

    Anthea

    May 22, 2017

    That’s wonderful for both you and her and a massive step forward in her social understanding. My dd is a few years older but I still worry when she goes off to patties and sleepovers. She’s learnt to mask her irritations (most of the time) and stores up her melt down reaction for when she’s picked up. It’s still heartbreaking to hear how uncomfortable she was but I’m so glad she makes the effort to join in rather than remove herself. Xxx

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 22, 2017

      Thank you so much, I’m glad your daughter is managing to get out to social things too x

  19. Reply

    Jen

    May 25, 2017

    That is so lovely that she enjoyed the whole experience, despite it not being perfection. A huge achievement. I like very much how you gave her the choice to decide what she wanted to do, and not to pander to her needs.

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 25, 2017

      Thank you x

  20. Reply

    Elinor Hill aka Beach Hut Cook

    May 27, 2017

    What a star she is. Also sounds like she has a good strong stable team behind her allowing her to be herself and discover the world on her terms. Well done Mum. Well done Number One child. Elinor x

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 28, 2017

      Thank you, that’s a lovely thing to say x

  21. Reply

    Rachel

    May 28, 2017

    Aww I was clapping along with this post, I would also have wanted Gryffindor so she did so incredibly well x

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 28, 2017

      Thanks so much x

  22. Reply

    Laura

    May 30, 2017

    I can see how those little things would make it hard for her but you must of been so proud that she decided to stay and not only stay by enjoy! It’s always wonderful to see progress and sounds like she is doing great

    Laura x

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 30, 2017

      I really was incredibly proud, she is a star x

  23. Reply

    Emma

    June 11, 2017

    Wow, that’s much cooler than any party my kids have been too – real owls! So good to hear she’s making progress. I’m so pleased she enjoyed the party. x

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      June 12, 2017

      I know, it was very cool x

  24. Reply

    Eva Katona

    June 16, 2017

    Thanks for sharing this, so good to read uplifting and positive stories about autism. I’s sure you’re very happy and she’s done so well.

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      June 18, 2017

      Thank you, I certainly am x

  25. Reply

    Su {Ethan & Evelyn}

    June 17, 2017

    Aww… bless her. She has grown so much and her confidence is raising. Well done! Well done indeed! I’m so glad she enjoyed the party. x

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      June 18, 2017

      She really did have a wonderful time x

  26. Reply

    Kacie

    June 26, 2017

    It must be lovely to see your children progress like this – what a positive story 🙂

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      June 26, 2017

      Thank you, it really is x

  27. Reply

    Lauretta at Home and Horizon

    July 18, 2017

    Happy for both of you. Good to hear she enjoyed the party.

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      July 19, 2017

      Thank you so much x

  28. Reply

    Nayna Kanabar

    July 20, 2017

    Its so good that your daughter overcame her fear and stayed at the party and enjoyed it too. Its little steps like these that will lead to bigger steps next time.

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      July 21, 2017

      It certainly is x

  29. Reply

    Emma @ Adventures of a London Kiwi

    July 25, 2017

    This makes my heart so happy – it must be so, so hard!

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      July 25, 2017

      I think at times she finds it hard. But she definitely struggles much less than when she was younger. I’m very proud of her x

  30. Reply

    Laura H

    July 27, 2017

    Awww it’s so great that she’s come so far – who wouldn’t enjoy a Harry Potter party?! I’m a huge fan myself 🙂

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      July 27, 2017

      Thank you, me too!

  31. Reply

    Louise

    July 30, 2017

    It’s so great your daughter has come so far and I am so jealous I would love to be invited to a Harry Potter party sounds incredible X

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      July 31, 2017

      Thank you:-) So would I xx

  32. Reply

    Laura

    August 3, 2017

    Amazing progress, lovely to see the difference over the time period. I wonder what age 11 will hold.

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      August 4, 2017

      Me too x

  33. Reply

    Five little doves

    August 5, 2017

    That’s great that you can see changes in the last two years. I think we can all identify moments like this, even those of us whose children do not have autism. It sounds like she is making progress. Xx

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      August 6, 2017

      She really is xx

  34. Reply

    Tanya

    August 6, 2017

    Well done to her, so glad she had a great time in the end

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      August 7, 2017

      Thank you x

  35. Reply

    Elyse Silver

    August 7, 2017

    That’s awesome, well done her for doing so well. My eldest son has autism so I can relate to how difficult it is, his thing is cars and he will go, do and socialise if it has anything to do with cars. Plus the Harry Potter party sounded amazing, can I come next time? he-he. x

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      August 7, 2017

      Aww thank you, it really helps if it’s related to their special interest doesn’t it? X

  36. Reply

    chichi

    August 7, 2017

    what a proud moment for you, stay strong lovely life is full of surprises!

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      August 7, 2017

      That is very true it certainly is x

  37. Reply

    Jessamine

    August 9, 2017

    Glad I found your blog as I am currently finding my daughters behaviour a real challenge, so glad to hear things have moved on for your daughter.

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      August 10, 2017

      Thanks so much, things can definitely improve x

  38. Reply

    Afshan Nasim

    August 10, 2017

    Bless, its great news that you made progress through the years. Well done on not backing down too, its hard to say no sometimes. Admire your blog.

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      August 11, 2017

      Thank you, that’s very kind of you x

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