2 comments on “Shopping with autism

  1. We do much the same things that you mention. I am autistic with sensory issues and my 5 year old has sensory issues as well. Here are a few other things we use:

    We use noise cancelling headphones instead of earplugs because we have yet to find earplugs that are comfortable.

    We try to always pay with a credit card because then we usually can swipe the card and do not have to touch the cashier (which can happen when exchanging money).

    We also love farmers markets. To supplement and in the winter are fortunate to have a delivery service for groceries as many large stores have now in the city (Peapod, etc) to avoid long trips in the grocery store with the smells, lights, and other stimuli.

    Like your blog. Thanks for your insights. 🙂

  2. I (NT Mom with an ASD son) never bring the kiddo shopping to a brick-and-mortar store–his aunt and grandma used to ask to take him clothes shopping in the fall every year, and I’m sorry to say I let them a few years ago. Their intentions were good, but never again! Gift-certificates are the way to go if they want to help with the clothes budget–his “checklist” is so long and complicated, including allergies to some materials, sensory issues with textures and certain styles, very strong opinions about aesthetics (hey, whatever makes him more comfortable in his own skin). This year he started wearing compression shirts, which make him feel calmer. Everyone with sensory issues has a different set of criteria, though. My ASD son cannot tolerate bumpy fabric–my ASD nephew cannot tolerate smooth fabric. Some only like tight clothing–some only like loose clothing.

    My son sometimes appears to wear the same outfit several days in a row, because we buy multiples of whatever clothing fits his criteria and our budget. I explained this to his para at school, just in case she was wondering about it. I think I was the only one worrying about people’s reactions, though. My son certainly wasn’t worried. No-one teases him about it, either!

    The internet is a great resource–especially if you want something very specific. My ASD spouse loves bargain-hunting on eBay–he can find the exact styles he likes without an exasperating trip to the dreaded mall. Amazon is great too, since there is a big selection.

    I have health problems that sometimes make it necessary to task my ASD spouse with the grocery shopping. It definitely helps to be as specific and concise as possible. Sometimes he phones home for help finding an item (we always shop at that store, so I know the layout well). So long as I’m not sending him on a wild goose chase, he’s happy to do what needs to be done!

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