Birthday dilemma

"Jon really struggles with friendships; he really doesn't have any," his teacher told us during a meeting last week. My heart sank and tears immediately welled in my eyes. This is not a new revelation for us; J has always struggled with developing relationships with kids his own age, but no mother wants to be told that her kid doesn't have friends...no matter how many times she has heard it or seen it herself.

J turns seven in a month, and now that we are sort of settled, I'd like to have a birthday party that allows him to invite the boys from his class so we can start making these connections with other parents, but it's "regular" kid things like birthday parties that remind me that my child is not a regular child. J is a sweet boy who loves his family and has a curiosity for the world, but making friends is not his forte. While he is one month away from seven, emotionally, he is more like one month away from five. He doesn't have a wide window of tolerance for most social situations thanks to the trauma he endured early in life evident in his behaviors at school (screaming when he's angry, immaturely putting his hands on friends to get their attention, chewing on random classroom items, and just an overall inability to stay self-regulated).

So now we have a dilemma. Do we march on with a plan to invite the boys in his class to a party and risk none of them showing up? Or do we decide to just have an intimate party with family and close family friends skipping the invites to classmates? It breaks my heart to even have to think about this, and as much as I desire a "normal," "regular" family situation--I'm trying to embrace reality...

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