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Going to the mall

Posted by on Nov. 12, 2012 at 1:52 PM
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Yesterday our son said he wanted to go to the mall by himself he is 13 now I tried telling him he was not ready but he thought we thought he was stupid. I went over the bus route and my wife and I decided to go with him BUT we would let him pay for the bus and figure out what to do we would simply observe him. Just walking out the driveway he started to go left not right, we made it to the downtow
n bus depot and as much as I wanted to show him what to do my wife and I held fast and watched him look around for a bit confused but then he got it we watched him get on the bus and use his pass and sit away from us he is after all a teen now

We got to the mall our mall here is not all that big really a problem since so many are in the mall and it feels crowded but we had stuck a deal he would have spending cash and four hours to be in the mall alone his dad really had thought he could do this alone with just a cell phone we however spend more then eight hours with him a week and know better. We stopped for coffee got him one and gave him money he wanted to go get a wallet so off he went. We saw him in the food court and since he had not responded to my text about when to meet his step-mom told him when and where to meet. Two hours went by I was in a shoe store my wife sent a text he was in a game store clearly from the text he was melting. So we asked did he want to go with us to the movies. He said yes when we met him he was almost in full meltdown mode my wife ever the other real mom knew to make a joke and get his mind off of his problems.
We all went to a movie and while he only did two hours I am glad that we had the sense to go along I feel those two hours where a huge step toward full independence one day.
by on Nov. 12, 2012 at 1:52 PM
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Replies (1-8):
dmsfr
by Group Owner & PITA on Nov. 12, 2012 at 3:40 PM
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Congrats on a scary job well done. You handled this perfectly. I don't know if I could do it!  

Thanks for sharing this. You are right, this is a huge step for all of you.

Homeschoolmom99
by Silver Member on Nov. 12, 2012 at 4:12 PM

I was a mess for those two hours! My ex has no clue how Anthony is! He spends a grand total of 8 hours a week with him we spend the rest he had such a look of fear on his face at the bus depot but we let it go. I could he see in his face when we found him that he was melting faster then ice cream in the sun! My wife unlike his father has read everything she can on autism/asperger's since she has a wife AND a son with those she knows when we are melting when we are HALTING when enough is enough. She knew two hours would be his limit that is why she sent the text

Quoting dmsfr:

Congrats on a scary job well done. You handled this perfectly. I don't know if I could do it!  

Thanks for sharing this. You are right, this is a huge step for all of you.


merna
by Silver Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Okay, at least he wanted to give it a try.  I would suggest little steps to wok up to the Mall again.  Such as allowing him to go into food places by himself and order his own food.  Trying it again in a smaller setting such as Large store with different departmens or maybe a shopping strip type of area.  Where someone can be able to observe him from a distance and see all pivotal stores.  Merna

itsAndiNYC
by Member on Aug. 30, 2013 at 10:01 AM
1 mom liked this
I posted this somewhere please accept my apologies if I am reposting it in this group because I am sure it was in an FB group.

I went to a seminar in NY and one of the NYC schools were there to talk
About how they handle their autistic teens when teaching them life skills.

They take them to the malls and allow them to walk quite a distance away from their sides. But each aide and teen are equipped with a cell phone and blue tooth. The cell phones have GPS so the aides always know where the teen is at all times. The blue tooth is to enable the aide to speak with the teens if they run into a situation they are not familiar with and they help talk them through it. This enables the teen to have a visual sense of independence yet they know they can always reach out if needed.

I think you and your wife handled it wonderfully. I'm sure it was nerve wracking for you. If you don't already have it, try looking into the possibility of adding GPS to your phones. It will ease your mind a bit to know you can always track him down if need be.

~Andrea
Homeschoolmom99
by Silver Member on Aug. 31, 2013 at 1:52 AM
1 mom liked this

WOW! Reading this I cried a bit! He has grown up so much since then! We just moved to Los Angeles this week, he has his own TAP card and for the most part goes off on his own! I do now have GPS on his phone and as I said he is doing so much better then just last November

Quoting itsAndiNYC:

I posted this somewhere please accept my apologies if I am reposting it in this group because I am sure it was in an FB group.

I went to a seminar in NY and one of the NYC schools were there to talk
About how they handle their autistic teens when teaching them life skills.

They take them to the malls and allow them to walk quite a distance away from their sides. But each aide and teen are equipped with a cell phone and blue tooth. The cell phones have GPS so the aides always know where the teen is at all times. The blue tooth is to enable the aide to speak with the teens if they run into a situation they are not familiar with and they help talk them through it. This enables the teen to have a visual sense of independence yet they know they can always reach out if needed.

I think you and your wife handled it wonderfully. I'm sure it was nerve wracking for you. If you don't already have it, try looking into the possibility of adding GPS to your phones. It will ease your mind a bit to know you can always track him down if need be.

~Andrea


filomali
by Member on Nov. 1, 2013 at 12:29 AM

Wonderful! Thank you for sharing with us and I'm glad your son gets more independent now.

I hope one day my child will be just as independent.

Tonight my 8 year old daughter went trick or treat, she was so proud because she could do it all by herself  two times (going to a house and ring the door bell and trick or treat) while I waited at the end of the driveway.  The rest of the other houses we went together, with my younger daughter too.

SAMI_JO
by Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 4:37 AM

 Congrats to him and to you! I don't know that I would have the courage to step back. My ds is 15, but no way mature enough to take a step out on his own.

Homeschoolmom99
by Silver Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 12:04 PM
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He really has come far he just turned 14 on Nov 5th he has taken the subway to meet his uncle twice now! We walk to the subway together and he is taking a class at the college same time as I do but he walks off on his own as soon as we hit campus. I am really proud of him!

Quoting SAMI_JO:

 Congrats to him and to you! I don't know that I would have the courage to step back. My ds is 15, but no way mature enough to take a step out on his own.


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