I’ve found 6 ways to teach waiting patiently with an autistic child and 6 ways to keep your sanity while waiting in line behind an idiot.
This weekend I played, So You Think You Can Teach Your Autistic Son To Wait In Line with my five-year-old son and my precocious nine-year-old daughter. I was prepared with tips from our ABA Therapist for my son’s behavior,(listed at the bottom of this post) but I wasn’t prepared for the general public.
I suppose Saturday is when all of the rude folk do their shopping and such.
I’ll start with the couple in front of us at Water Wheel Ice Cream, a locally owned business that offers fabulous homemade delicacies.
I think they were on a date. I am basing this on the fact that she was wearing five-inch stiletto heels at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Paired with DIY cut off black jeans and a crop top, her look spoke to me.
It said I wasn’t expecting to be brought to this family friendly establishment AND I’ve gained twenty-two pounds since I purchased this form fitting shirt but I’m not letting that stop me from showcasing my belly rolls. As offensive as this was, she was not the tactless one.
It was her escort; I mean date. See, when he was presented with their banana split, he examined the sweet treat as if it were the Zapruder film. Then he started asking questions.
Where the hot fudge at?
Oh no. You’ve got to be kidding me.
After the attendant had showcased the fudge that was literally all over the desert, the man followed up with
Do it have nuts?
Are you kidding me?
Then it was on to how the last time he was there he got shorted a french fry, and I’m not sure what his point was but what I do know is that everyone in the rapidly growing line all had to wait as he counted out change to pay.
As if he was surprised he would have to exchange money for goods.
After he had finished up counting a dollar in pennies, it was finally Nathan’s turn.
But not so quick!
Because right as I about to place our order, I was interrupted by another couple.
Apparently, I had discovered the hot spot for day dates.
Their food order was incorrect. No, they didn’t let that stop them from eating over half of it, but still. They wanted a refund. Not once did they apologize for the interruption or mutter the words: Thank You.
SERIOUSLY??? I wanted to retreat and go to a drive through, but I had to stay. I had promised homemade ice cream and moms keep their promises. Moms also have money at the ready and don’t wear crop tops.
Next stop: Walgreens.
We had to go because I had casually mentioned this stop earlier in the day and my nine-year old believes every “maybe” to be a blood oath. To my delight, they weren’t crowded at all. Nathan, Lylah Kate and I practically had the corner of happy and healthy all to ourselves.
We perused the toy, craft, and greeting card aisles with no fits or foot stomping.
An elderly lady even commented on my lovely children, which I took to be the ultimate jinx, but I accepted her kind words politely.
After ten minutes and no emotional breakdowns (from the kids or me) we headed to the checkout where only one woman stood between us and sweet freedom.
She had coupons.
She also required multiple price checks.
And she was on the phone with her sister.
I know because both of them were speaking loud enough for everyone to hear.
In case you are wondering, Donna’s husband drinks too much al-key-hall on Friday nights and expects her to clean the dog pen even though she ain’t happy they got a dam-um dog.
Also, you can get Beef Jerky and a case of Diet Coke for under $5 at Walgreens.
Coupons cannot be applied to sale items, and they do not double coupons.
This concept was foreign to Donna’s sister and it took a while for her to understand.
She never thanked the cashier for her help.
I thought the day’s stops would be a lesson in waiting for my son with autism who can get impatient and frustrated easily.
Instead, we learned the importance of kindness, tolerance, and consideration.
As we drove away, I wanted to go ballistic about the day’s events, but, I spoke to my kids about the rude behaviors we witnessed.
Do you see how important it is to be nice to everyone? Do you understand why it is important?
Yes, Lylah Kate replied with sass.
Because you don’t want to want to tick off my mom.
Here are a few ways to help autistic kids learn how to wait, in case you’re interested in that type of thing.
Teaching to Wait Patiently
–Start at home with a toy and take turns every 5 minutes. Increase the time after he adapts to the wait
-Play turn-taking games to get into the habit. Build towers with blocks or Legos
-Use a timer or use your fingers to countdown
-Use red, green, and yellow cards as visual prompts. Red for “wait” Yellow for “almost,” and Green for “go.”
-Use a Wait Basket filled with items played with only when waiting (Squishy balls, sensory bottles, Slinkys)
–Practice! At home or store-when you’re not in a hurry
Here’s a few ways to keep your sanity if you have to wait in line behind an idiot.
–Count the number of useless items your kid will beg for and will ultimately end up in your trash can
-Check your Facebook & delete useless notifications. Ask yourself why you follow so many people
–Glance at all the tabloid magazines and try to find one without a Kardashian
–Jenner’s count as Kardashians
-Consider printing a mini etiquette book to pass on to selfish people, reconsider because the cost would be outrageous and you can’t see print that small anyway
–Thank your lucky stars that your parents raised you right. Plan to call your mom and thank her when you get in your car because you know that talking on the phone in the store is rude