If you have been following my blog for awhile then you probably know how going out in public is simply difficult for Trenton. It always has and always will be. However, I have never given up hope with him on this issue and have continued since the time he was born to work with him on this issue. I have been through it all with him in public. I have walked in and turned around and walked out with him screaming bloody murder. I have been with him in a store while he dumped over a whole display of a new brand of chips with about 25 bags of chips scattering all over the floor. I have been glared at, pointed at, and had many rude comments flashed my way. I have sat down at a restaurant and not even ate the meal that we just ordered but instead walked right back out to our car while he kicked, hit, and screamed the whole way out. I have seen the disappointed look on his face after he couldn't handle the outing. I have seen him cry his sad cry of disappointment. I have seen him reach his max of sensory input and have helped him mange his sensory overload for the entire rest of the day. I have been with him when he was so scared that he literally pooped his pants. (He used to always poop when he was scared) I have done about every trick in the book to get him out in public. You name it..... I HAVE DONE IT WITH TRENTON!
It hasn't been easy. In fact, it has been hard. It is one of those autism challenges that only Trenton and I can understand what we have been through.
This year alone, we have made great strides in this area. 2016 has been the best year for us in many areas and this is one of the areas. When everything is consistent for a child with autism, baby steps can be made. Consistency is one of the keys to autism and it has proven to be so very true to me in 2016. Wow. WOW. WOW! So proud of how we are progressing in this area. Consistency mixed with determination and we have progress!!!
Since working with him in this area, I have focused on three stores and the same three restaurants. It is enough of a variety for him to transition what he is learning from a different environment to another one but a small enough variety for him to not be so overwhelmed.
Every chance I get, we work on this area.
One year ago, we weren't even able to walk into a store like Wal-greens. Now, we walk into the store, he holds my hand, and does great! It is a quick trip in but he does it! We walk fast in the store and if I need something I have to pick it up immediately. I can't browse and do a lot of shopping. We are a very long way from that. However, he walks in and we do great and that is what matters! PROGRESS!!!
I never thought a year ago that I would be able to walk into McDonald's with him and sit down at a booth. Now, he will walk into McDonald's' with me and we order chicken nuggets and he will sit and eat them. Sometimes he only last ten minutes but it is ten minutes longer than one year ago. It is baby steps with autism and we celebrate it to our fullest.
I don't pushed him to go longer. When he says, "all done" or when he pushed me to the door, I know it is time to go.
So proud of you T-man. Our long, hard days full of work is paying off!!! Monies (that is what he calls me) is proud and honored to be your Mommy. God sure did bless me when he gave me you.
The top picture is the very first time I tried taking Trenton to a store and he didn't scream going in. He was three months old and I thought I was on top of the world finally taking my baby out in public!
Another trip where he took his animal friends with him:)