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Going out in public places has become quite the challenge


Forum: Children with Developmental Delays and Disorders

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  #1  
March 8th, 2008, 11:05 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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All I have to say going yesterday was not fun. Dh was looking around and I was sitting in the play area with the kids. They had a table with thomas train set up. Jay was spinning the top of the helicopter. There was a father there with 3 of his kids. There was a boy that is 3 years old. He was pushing the trains around and talking up a storm. Meanwhile my sweet Jay was happily spinning the blades in the corner. I would be lying if I said it was not hard to watch that boy wich is around the same age as Jay. After a bit I said lets go find daddy because I felt on the verge of crying. I told Jay he had to put the helicopter away and ended up in a huge meltdown. We went to walmart and there were meltdowns one right after the other. He used to do so good with going out but as time goes by it gets harder and it makes me want to stay home.

Does anyone have tips to make running errands with a ASD child any easier?
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  #2  
March 8th, 2008, 08:24 PM
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Oh mama, I feel your pain. I try to limit my errands to when Gus is at his preschool, but when I do have to take him it's a crapshoot - who knows what will set him off - I can't control the environment - so I try to bring things with us that usually calm him down. His pacifier (people stare but I'm used to it now), lollipops (he loves them), his blanket (again, the stares) he loves to wrap that around his head when he needs comfort.

When he acts out I do sometimes feel like explaining, it all depends on the situation, sometimes I tell people sorry, he's autistic, the air conditioner was too loud for him (or whatevr it was set him off). Other times I don't care what they think and juts go about my business. Depends on my mood.
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  #3  
March 9th, 2008, 10:45 AM
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I think its going to be limited here as well. I used to remember when it was enjoyable going out and about with him.

Of course its always fun getting the stares like you can not control your child.
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  #4  
March 9th, 2008, 10:49 AM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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We still have shopping trips that are very difficult so I really don't know the full answer to what makes it easier all the time. What I used to do with Abby was limit how many places we went and prepare her by telling her where we were going and then every time we finished with one place, I would tell her where we were going next. She used to ask "where next?" every time we got into the car for a while. But, I never knew what would be overstimulating for her because it could have been something different each time so it was always trial and error. It still is except we know that for the most part, she NEVER wants to go anywhere with us. I know that most people look at it and say "she's 14, of course she doesn't want to go anywhere with you..its normal teenage behavior" but....she was doing this WAY before she was a teen and can get quite extreme with her reactions when we're either out or if I'm just talking about going out.

Like Crissy mentioned, I used to bring Abby's blanky along and she was a thumb sucker for yrs. but she's outgrown that so she has her cd player that goes everywhere with her and sometimes her Nintendo DS.
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  #5  
March 9th, 2008, 05:11 PM
~*~AIMEE~*~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I know anything I could add doesn't mean a whole lot, since we don't have an actual Dx here, but your post really struck a chord with me. My son has had meltdowns since before he could even sit up on his own, for some reason they have gotten better with age, but I still can't go out in public without my stomach in knots before we even get out of the car. Even when it is just me and the baby, I think they can both sense it, and it makes it worse, but I can't help it. My stomach is in knots just thinking about it. I usually only go to one or two places, cause I am just so mentally exhausted by the time we are done. It is very comforting to find someone who can understand how I am feeling, in my PR they could never relate, none of their kids act that way.
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  #6  
March 9th, 2008, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
I know anything I could add doesn't mean a whole lot, since we don't have an actual Dx here, but your post really struck a chord with me. My son has had meltdowns since before he could even sit up on his own, for some reason they have gotten better with age, but I still can't go out in public without my stomach in knots before we even get out of the car. Even when it is just me and the baby, I think they can both sense it, and it makes it worse, but I can't help it. My stomach is in knots just thinking about it. I usually only go to one or two places, cause I am just so mentally exhausted by the time we are done. It is very comforting to find someone who can understand how I am feeling, in my PR they could never relate, none of their kids act that way.[/b]
It means alot. Does not matter whether you have a dx or not.
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  #7  
March 9th, 2008, 06:53 PM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Quote:
I know anything I could add doesn't mean a whole lot, since we don't have an actual Dx here, but your post really struck a chord with me. My son has had meltdowns since before he could even sit up on his own, for some reason they have gotten better with age, but I still can't go out in public without my stomach in knots before we even get out of the car. Even when it is just me and the baby, I think they can both sense it, and it makes it worse, but I can't help it. My stomach is in knots just thinking about it. I usually only go to one or two places, cause I am just so mentally exhausted by the time we are done. It is very comforting to find someone who can understand how I am feeling, in my PR they could never relate, none of their kids act that way.[/b]
It does mean a lot and you don't need the actual dx to be understood. I still feel that way with my oldest sometimes when we go places or even when we gong to have company---my stomach knots up. It is extremely tiring some days. I'm glad you feel that we understand.
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  #8  
March 11th, 2008, 12:53 AM
pautumnsun's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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It can be very challenging to bring your child on any kind of outings because you can not predict what will happen or what he or she will need at the time. I now how difficult it can be when your out in public and you have a hard time managing outbursts. I know it is difficult for me when Aidan becomes upset at the grocery store or at the post office. What has worked for me for the most part is letting him know where we are going and I use distraction. I will ask him, "can you help mommy find the apples or can you give mommy the can". I will bring snacks and little cars. If all of these techniques fail and he is unreachable. I stand by and tell him I am here and then wait it out. I dont give him a lot of attention and he settles down. I also noticed that you, if I am not mistaken, were feeling sad because the other boy who was Jay's age was playing and talking up a storm while your son was just interested in spinning the helicopter blades. This is something I have felt in the past. It is so hard not to compare but when I am sucessful at it I am a lot happier. Take care.

Tricia
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  #9  
March 11th, 2008, 10:53 AM
outnumbered's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Hunter would have melt downs, too, but that pretty much stopped once we got him to communicate with us, but we didn't go out all that much during that time.

Today he can be oblivous to everything and stims with the small toys he carries around everywhere. Hubby picked up Hunter's coat this weekend and was just shocked at how heavy it was on the one side because Hunter carries a horde of coins with him.
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  #10  
March 21st, 2008, 09:36 PM
Bug-n-Ed's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I completely understand how hard it can be. In my opinion, the best thing to do is to just get used to it, learn to ignore what others are doing (looking or even telling you that you are a bad mother) or get bold and tell them off that your child is autistic. That will usually shut them up and make them feel like crap.

It is not going to do your child any good to keep him sheltered and not take him out just because you are afraid or uncomfortable with the looks or the difference between your child and others his age. The more you take him out, the more he will be able to get used to the things in the world that are hard for him (too many people, too loud, etc). It does get easier as they get older. Part of it is communication, part of it is that they don't understand that what they want isn't what everyone else wants, and part of it is too much stimulation (sensory issues).

Find something that helps to calm your child, even if it's a stim. You said he was enjoying spinning the helicoptor, get a toy helicoptor to have in the diaperbag to bring out when he's starting to have a meltdown. I know others probably shy away from allowing a child to stim, but it gives them pleasure and will help make outings easier. When Brandon was younger, I always had one of my My Little Pony's from when I was a kid in the diaperbag. It was a "dancing" one, you twist a knob on the front and the tail spins which makes it "dance" if it's on a flat surface. Brandon absolutely loved looking at that tail spinning. It was the absolute best thing to calm him down.

Another thing that calms him is squashes (big tight bear hugs). You just need to learn what works for your child. Not everything will work for every child. It's a learning process. You can do it, it's not easy, but you can do it.
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