The following post is by Danny's Mother:
Raising a son with Asperger's, we often had to celebrate in a different way. And, you know what? It was really fun and very memorable for all of us. Here are three examples:
When Danny turned 12, we were on vacation in Seattle. To celebrate his actual birthday, Danny didn't want a party or special dinner, but instead requested a tour of Microsoft Headquarters. Fortunately, we had a business acquaintance whose son coordinated a fabulous tour of the campus. I really didn't understand all of the technical terms or descriptions of software – but Danny did! He was focused, happy, thrilled, and social doing something that he wanted to do.
Danny was raised Jewish, and that meant we celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at age 13. To prepare, he studied for months to learn to read Hebrew, learned some prayers, and wrote a speech about the meaning of his Torah portion. (A lot for any 13-year-old!) On his Bar Mitzvah day, he led services, and then we had a celebration. We had just had the diagnosis of Asperger's, so I had a little better idea of what we should NOT do to celebrate. We shouldn't invite too many people. We shouldn't make too much of a fuss of him. We shouldn't celebrate with loud music. This was not the normal celebration of our community, but it was perfect for Danny. At the party celebrating him becoming part of the adult-community, instead of having lots of loud screaming teenagers dancing “YMCA,” we had a magician performing. Instead of expecting Danny to participate in any games, he was the judge. And, instead of him arriving into the room with full fan-fare, he sat on his Dad's lap watching close-up magic.