Helping My Autistic Son Buy A Birthday Present For BeAGoodMom

by beagooddad on August 17, 2007

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BeAGoodMom’s birthday is coming up in a couple weeks. I decided that I was going to take each of the kids individually to buy presents for her so that I could really work on explaining to Pookie what we were doing.

So, Pookie and I walk into the store today and he is completely uninterested in being there. Pookie is not really into the kinds of things that we are planning on buying BeAGoodMom.

I walked him down the aisles and racks and pointed and chatted and questioned and prodded.

Nothing.

So, I ended up resorting to picking out a small handful of items and having him pick a couple of them and then had him carry the bag out to the car.

Then when we pulled into the driveway a couple hours later, I asked him what we had bought without showing him. He was able to tell me what it was. I think that was huge.

So, this isn’t part of the autism series (that I promise to get back to soon), but I do have an autism point here. Buying presents for somebody else is a pretty abstract concept that has zero reason to excite an autistic child but it is an important social concept to learn.

Be willing to take little steps on explaining how the whole concept works.

I am absolutely thrilled that he was able to pick from the small subset of choices that I picked out. I am even more thrilled that he was able to talk about it a little bit long after the even with no prompting.

In a day or two, we’ll be wrapping the presents and I’ll take the opportunity to explain what the presents are for. The day we give BeAGoodMom the presents, I will see if he can remember what is in the wrapped boxes before we give them to her.

Baby steps. He will learn this stuff. He is already more cooperative present shopping than he was last year.

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