Last Thursday I did something I try to avoid at all costs, the dread shopping trip with Adrian. As a parent of a child with ADHD, Autism, and Sensory Processing Disorder I can tell you shopping has never been easy.
My son is baffled by noise, crowds, lights, smells and just about anything else you can think of. Shopping mixes all these baffeling things in at once. With all of your senses working at once overtop of one another it would be extremely hard not to be baffled. Unlike myself when I happily tune everything out so I can handle my business as quickly as possible Adrian’s body can not. He hears too much, sees too much, is surrounded by too many people, smells too many scents.
When you bring a child who 1) has a short attention span, 2) has difficulty expressing his needs and wants, and 3) is extremely sensitive to every aspect of his surrounding enviornment you are creating the specifics for the mother of all meltdowns. This would be why I avoid doing so at all costs.
Last Thursday I simply could not avoid it. Adrian had been coming down with something for awhile and I wanted to take him to his pediatrician. He ended up needing an antibiotic for sinusitis and I needed a couple more items. My Sister-In-Law Rebecca gave us a ride to his appointment and the store.
In all the three of us were at Meijer 45 minutes. Not our longest trip, but not short either. I was blown away completely by Adrian! I swear I thought my real kid had gone into hiding. With the exception of him perseverating on a dang toy he thought he absoultly needed he did fine! The store was no less crowded then usual. His aunt did take him to see fish which he loves. It was a normal trip like every other one we’ve ever had. The last shopping trip he went on was three months before this one. He had a huge meltdown. Progress is excellent. I expect there to be future store meltdowns but the fact that he got through one trip without one was HUGE!! I left the store so happy that I wanted to cry. I hope it just gets better from here. He has come so far in such a short amount of time considering we knew next to nothing about Autism upon his diagnosis almost two years ago. He just celebrated his eighth birthday on Sunday and with every year that passes he continues to Amaze me!