Autism Christmas Shopping

Autism-ShoppingIn short.  Don’t do it.  Order online even though the store is only five miles away.  Okay, went to one store (tee hee) that’s only five miles away because I don’t want to pay the shipping, and I went when the store opened, so I would not be surrounded by people, and stores are more likely to be cooler in the morning.

But, hubby and I went to Hobby Lobby and Target last night.  Lately, I have been doing well with my sensory processing issues, but last night, I had a melt-down, not in the way kids do by screaming or running away, but I know how the kids feel because I felt like screaming and running away.  I started to sweat; I got confused; I felt out of control; I was lost because it was a new place to go, and when hubby wandered off, I felt scared.

I found him and held his hand.  He said, “You’re running hot,” referring to my hand temperature, which usually goes up when I’m anxious or scared.  Hubby likes to wander new places, but this time (and other times) he said, “Let’s just get the pencils, and we’ll head out.”

Then Target.

Target is usually easy and lower stress for me because Target follows a fairly prescribed floor plan, the same grouping of products, and which sections are near each other.  It’s a script I can understand.  I simply follow the raceway around the store and enter sections as needed.  But, since I had the sensory meltdown at Hobby Lobby, my sensory was amplified in Target where it might not have produced the same response as starting out relaxed straight from home.

When I got home, I retreated to the family room and lit a fire and read and became non-talkative–hubby calls it “retreating.”  I need to retreat sometimes because I have to bring down the intensity of the experience so I can function.


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About Eileen Parker 100 Articles
Support a starving writer, by buying my current book, The Weighted Blanket Guide, on Amazon. I'm a writer working on my fourth book. I live in the Twin Cities with my husband. Between us, we have four children.