Reillys Party

Last night I couldn’t sleep.  Terrified that no-one would turn up for Reilly’s party.  When I opened the blinds to see the snow bleaching down outside I felt even worse!

I packed up my little mini with raffle and tombola prizes and set off at 2 miles an hour to pick up the party squad and get set up.

I needn’t have worried. At 1 o clock the doors opened and people flooded in.  The room was packed!  Reilly was brilliant for a good hour after that he clung to me and typed McDonalds into my phone constantly 🙂 we spent a bit of time outside and that’s ok. We also spent a little bit of time in the foyer reading a George Pig book.  When you need 5  minutes you need 5 minutes.

The children partied TOGETHER  it was so lovely to see.  It was amazing to hear some of the parents had used examples from my blog to explain about stimming etc to their children before they came.  This is what it’s all about!! Education and acceptance.

Special mentions today go to those people who gave up their own time to come and entertain the children.  These people are priceless coming along at such a busy time to help the local community.

Rite Rhythm Disco  contacted me and said if we ever needed someone for a disco he would love to help us out. He has an autistic son also and gets it.   He did today and did an amazing job.

Party Animals came along to show and tell the children about animals. Snakes, frogs, guinea pigs, dragons. The kids absolutely loved it!!

 

Martin the Magician was a huge hit! Hilarious and kept the kids entertained perfectly. Thoroughly recommended.

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Sandra McGrath from Cramlington Village Club didn’t hesitate when I asked if they could help us out with the venue.  They also donated prizes for our raffle.

Hannah Wilkinson our beautiful Elsa who I only met a few weeks ago came today after I heard her singing at our annual charity ball.  She did an incredible job and the kids were mesmerised by her

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Maisey Maxwell our little helper who set up her own stall to do glitter tattoos for the children (and adults I noticed).  Awesome!

And not to forget our raffle ticket, tombola selling, room decorating squad!

With tickets purchased online and the party today Reilly’s party raised just short of £500!

BUT …

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Marce Gaygaskel who plays Granny Mary in the play The Life of Reilly superbly wrote a cheque for £1000 today.  She believes in this project as much as we do.  Absolutely blown away by her generosity.  Cannot thank Marce enough.

Our crowdfunding when all paid in will stand at just over 4k.  We can do this!

We have 12 days then we can fund this pilot and start shooting in February. Crowdfunder Life of Reilly

He’s fast asleep now but has kept looking through the photos and videos.  He absolutely loved the DJ equipment and did a bit scratching 🙂

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Jaycee’s Party

What a week! Since Shane’s post about Reilly went viral I have spent my time pretty much trying to keep up with the thousands of messages we have received.  Messages from all around the world all with the same story – that happened to us too and still is happening from child through to adult.

I am overwhelmed and heartbroken in equal measures about how much of an enormous problem inclusion is for our fantastic kids. In fact not just our kids, I have had messages from parents who’s kids are excluded by friends and family members, adults excluded because of race, religion, the LGBT community and many more.  We are all human and this just isn’t good enough.  Who are we to judge another?    

I received a message on Wednesday night on our way to London to talk to This Morning.

It was from a Mam who has had the same problem, she arranged a tea party for her beautiful little girl Jaycee which no one attended, they were having another in a place close to me with cakes and a magician and would we like to attend and we did attend yesterday!

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Because we were somewhere new and there were a lot of new faces it took him a little while to settle but once he did he was brilliant.  He did spend the first 10 minutes trying to open Jaycee’s presents but problem solved simply by moving them out of sight.

He skirted the edges as the children sat on the floor watching the magician (who was awesome by the way John Penman).  He didn’t join in the games directly but watched from the sidelines.  He loved the cake!!  He danced to gangnam style and shocked me by grabbing the microphone and becoming very vocal,  not words anyone would understand but for me I’ll take it and I loved it.

An amazing family with an incredible little girl.  Kindness costs nothing people and will enrich your life. Maybe more people should try it.

Thankyou Tanya & her family for making us so welcome. xx

Reilly went to a party!

Couple of weeks ago we got Reilly was invited to one of his classmates party, Harry.  This is the first party we’ve actually been able to attend. He’s clocked up a massive 3 invites in his 5.5 years so we were excited and a bit nervous.

Reilly completely understood all of the conversation we had while getting ready, no red wellies aren’t ok for a ball pit. No we don’t take our own juice etc etc.  He understood he was going to a party and was really happy!!  Organised as ever we called at Tesco on the way there for a gift bag then the realisation hit me he was going to have to give a present to someone else and I expected the worst, how on earth was Reilly going to hand over a present.  He loves them, he opens everybody’s at christmas and then some.  Needn’t have worried he navigated Tesco’s like a pro, bent my bank card ramming it in the machine at the till and left kinder egg in hand.  Like a boss.

Party was at The Harvester at North Shields.  It has a separate play area which is pretty huge and the staff were lovely.  Not sure that people really comprehend how much pressure it puts on you as a parent to take your child to these places, children who are prone to meltdowns, stripping off, sensitive to noises and textures; so when we can all flock together its brilliant.  Mess with one, mess with us all.

The only parents we knew were Gary & Sarah who thankfully sing from the same sheet as us and see the humour in most of the shenanigans that accompanies autism and we did have a mini put the world to rights while watching the puzzled looks of neurotypical children trying their best to engage with the kids to be met with stoney silence.  We don’t see other the other parents at school.  Theres no school yard gossip for us, our treasures are transported so it was lovely to see some new faces and exchange some of them knowing, non-judgemental looks when the inevitable happens.

I spent quite a while talking to one of the young barmaids at the end of the bar where Reilly took up residence for about half of the party, right alongside the fruit machines, he loves them.  Every button gets pressed.  She was a bit smitten with our Reilly, heartbreaker of the future apparently.

All in all he did so well and I’m really proud of him.  Only one lying on the floor incident which was quickly brushed off.  He ate 3 chips, I ate about 50, he put his coat on and that was our queue.  Time to leave. He did it, we did it and it wasn’t even painful.

Harrys party was a huge success. The question is should I brave one for Reilly in July?

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