You may or may not be aware of this little tidbit of information but taking three kids with Autism to the grocery store is one hell of a challenging task. I try to avoid taking all three kids with me whenever it’s possible because I’m trying to preserve what little sanity I have left. LOL
As far as this challenge goes, it could be much more difficult and I’m lucky in that department.
For the most part, my kids are pretty well behaved in public. There are of course, situations that are outside of their control and the dreaded meltdown will make a very public appearance. The boys all have their quirks and things that can present challenges but it’s just part of who they are.
Here are a few of the challenges I face with each of the kids when at the grocery store.
With Mr. Gavin, I have to be very careful because he doesn’t pay attention to anything that’s going on around him. He will walk right into the path of a moving car or run someone over with a shopping cart, if he’s pushing it. I try to let him push the cart whenever possible because these are things he needs to work on but it’s an exhausting process. I have to constantly remind him to watch where he’s going or pay attention to what’s going on around him.
Elliott can experience what I like to refer to as a filter-less mouth. This means that when Elliott is in a situation where he’s experiencing anxiety, he let’s words bypass his brain mouth filter and that’s unpleasant/awkward for everyone. He struggles with anxiety to a significant degree and it impacts his ability to function at times.
As for Mr. Emmett, he’s easily the most challenging. Anything that requires making a decision is something that very quickly devolves into a massive meltdown because he very much struggles with anything even remotely resembling a decision.
If you put all of these things together, you have the perfect storm and that can lead to an absolute disaster at the grocery store. It’s happened countless times before and I’ve no doubt it will happen again.
During this particular visit to the store, the boys actually did pretty well. Emmett pushed the cart, Gavin mostly payed attention and didn’t walk into anyone or knock anything over. Elliott stayed relatively anxiety free because he was listened to music the whole time. I was also very careful to ensure that Emmett didn’t have to make any decisions.
I’m really proud of the boys. Don’t get me wrong, it was still exhausting but they did the best they could and that made things so much more manageable for me.