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Too scared to take DS out shopping

(18 Posts)
adrianna22 Fri 26-Dec-14 16:09:25

I did a thread about this a while ago, but just need some encouragement and guidance.

DS, 5, has ASD and a severe speech and language impairment.

DS is a good when we are out, he doesn't mind changes into his routines- so I can take him somewhere new without have to prep-him.

Now since DS has been born- every time his grandma has taken him out shopping- she buys him what he want.

I too stupidly followed that tradition.

So every time we tell DS that we would not buy him- let's say crisps or sweet. He will go on the floor and end up having a tantrum.

Though, I recently noticed that sometimes, when he points out to the McDonald's that we walk past by, and he throws a tantrum because I told him that we are not going to McDonald's. It is genuinely because he is hungry- I know this as we were in the hospital for several hours and couldn't grab something to eat.

But it has come to a point- that I'm scared to take DS out with me shopping or I get terrified that he may notice his favourite places eg. McDonald's it sweet shops etc and throw a barney if we don't go to the shop.

Is this all due to his ASD (routine-rigidity ) or because his not use to is saying no that he cannot get what he wants. I ask this, as at times when I ask parents I am at lost why DS does this- they have always told me that is because it has become into a habit for him. Yeah ( a 5 years habit) and that in needs to addressed now or it will get worse.

In a sense they are right- I was advised by my autism outreach worker to use a timetable- but it didn't really work, all the timetable just did was reinforce his understanding of the food items- but he still cried when I didn't buy him what he want or when I walked past his favourite shop.

I then realised that in order for DS to change- I had to change. I had to stop giving in to his demands.

I can't forever always avoid taking DS out shopping- he needs to learn from these experiences.

I was thinking that maybe- once a week I'll take DS out shopping to shop for small items- like bread and milk. If DD throws a big tantrum- I'll simply leave my shopping and return home.

In terms with waking past his favourite places- I'll simply leave what I was going to do and return back home.

Is this a good plan? Has any other parent been in this situation? Does this stem from his ASD-rigidity? As my autism outreach doesn't seem to know why the visual timetables doesn't seem to work in this scenario.


adrianna22 Fri 26-Dec-14 16:11:29

Sorry for he grammatical errors- I'm typing on my phone and don't always proof read. I hope I'm forgiven.

PolterGoose Fri 26-Dec-14 17:23:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

adrianna22 Fri 26-Dec-14 17:51:37

PolterGoose Thanks for replying.

I did try out the other strategies from the other thread- and they did work! and DS tantrums got less, but it was hard- very hard- I had to put on the " I don't care/tough" attitude, to help me through it

But I guess I still have that anxiety to take him out and just need some reassurance that I can do it and continue to do so.

PolterGoose Fri 26-Dec-14 18:13:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AngelCauliflower Fri 26-Dec-14 21:22:06

my ds was like that. I think if he thought something was going to happen and it didnt happen it would lead to a big meltdown. He always wanted to go to the car wash at Morrison's. He always had to buy chocolate in the supermarket. There were lots of these types of situations.

One thing that really helped us was role play. We would act out the situation at home and ds would practice how to respond when I would say no to things. Ds has to practice dealing with a lot situations at home. It helps.

MeirAyaAlibi Sun 28-Dec-14 21:35:07

You might feel better able to handle this if you knew how long it might last.

One way to shorten the awful 'extinction burst' (where it gets worse before it gets better) is to do whatever 'thing' 20-30 times a day. So you write off several days, and plan on taking trip after trip after trip, past every shop & McDonald's you can think of. So you both get loads of practice in over a very short time. Towards the end you could rope in the rellies to do a half day each of constantly saying no - that way he'll generalise to the others.

You could also bolt-on a new routine so he gets treats for something other than shopping / tantrums. Maybe have some Pom bears ready for when he gets home, or something like that?

RumbaRumba Sun 28-Dec-14 23:15:04

Ds1 was like this. We were advised to take him past the McDonald's (or whatever) as often as possible, and give him an alternative treat/ reinforcer if he didn't scream. So we would give ds a few of his favourite crisps as we drove past the offending restaurant and soon he was absolutely fine.

It was a perfect blend of toddler tantrum and routine rigidity with him, leaning more towards the latter. He was scared and anxious if what he was expecting to happen (and what usually happened!) didn't happen. But he really, really needed to learn to deal with this or life would have become v difficult for all of us, him most of all

adrianna22 Mon 29-Dec-14 00:03:59

Meir- thanks for the suggestion.

Do you mean I should take him out 20-30 times a day to practice?

adrianna22 Mon 29-Dec-14 00:04:49

Rumba rumba- if I had a car it would be so much easier.

adrianna22 Mon 29-Dec-14 00:36:28

Ok everyone.

I am planning to take DS out tomorrow and we would be passing the McDonald's.

I'm worried, I'm scared what people are going to think of me- as I am a young mum and do get a lot of stick cause of that.

But I know that this has to be done confused. I cant keep on avoiding places forever and it may manifest into something worse.

Regarding food shopping- I was thinking of printing out images for DS to look at for our shopping list- help aid understanding and to see what's in our shopping list.

Where can I get those Velcro things from, that they use for timetables?

I have been looking at NT strategies as many mums with NT kids are going through the exact same dilemma as me.

There's going to be lots of crying for both me and DS.

MeirAyaAlibi Mon 29-Dec-14 11:31:15

Yep- 20-30 times a day will get you results 20-30 times faster fgrin. If you have a corner shop, you might even be able to recruit the man inside as a helper (our local shopkeeper is fantastic with DS- and always willing to play along - when we were teaching conversational skills he used to pretend he couldn't understand what ds1 wanted till he spoke up and made eye contact)

Good luck with the maccieD's. shock Think that one's your worst really, once you've done that a few times, you'll be on a roll.

And ignore the catsbum faces - some people have nothing better to do than stare at others, their mothers really out to have taught them some manners - after all, you're teaching your ds these lessons, so what's their excuse?

Maybe we could get some 'basic politeness lessons for neurotypical and very rude adults' advice cards printed up to hand out fhmm

MeirAyaAlibi Mon 29-Dec-14 11:32:28


Go for success. make sure you plan some trips you know you'll win. Then it gets easier

adrianna22 Mon 29-Dec-14 12:37:07

Hi Meir

I really don't think I can do 20-30, I don't even have the money on my oyster to do that.

I took DS out this morning, he did cry. But at least he didn't throw himself on the floor like he usually does.

I'm planning to take DS out everyday- at least twice a day.

Thanks for the link.

MeirAyaAlibi Tue 30-Dec-14 14:55:07

We were fortunate to have the corner shop.
Twice a day is pretty good if you're on the bus - especially if you get your money's worth by walking past the same shops / fast food places a few times when you get there

MeirAyaAlibi Tue 30-Dec-14 14:59:54

Radar key is a way to find a quiet spot where "helpful" members of the public don't get involved

adrianna22 Wed 31-Dec-14 17:35:10

Took DS out to go to the bank. He did cry as he spotted the corner shop and did cry when we left the bank, but did calm down a bit.

So as we were walking home- I would say "well done for walking" and he did behave well in the bank even though he was whimpering, so I said well done for that also. I brought out his favourite sweet (from my pocket), is that the right thing to do? and he behaved well though out the day. We passed the McDonald's and he didn't even notice. I think the sweet was the distraction.

Is this the right way to go about it? I am also thinking of introducing a star chart too.

But overall I'm happy, I didn't care if people looked at me. I offered loads of distractions to him, even if he seemed calm, I let him put my bank card in the ATM and so forth.

PolterGoose Wed 31-Dec-14 17:38:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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