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Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas wishlist making tip for nonverbal kiddos

The holidays can be very fun and very stressful for parents of children with autism. There are crowds and noise, blinking lights everywhere, and lots of music. Getting your shopping done takes alot of planning, timing, and patience.

My son has very little trouble finding his words anymore, but I remember when getting him to put a sentence together was a test of patience for me. When they're already excited, getting your kid to list off what they want can be hard. When Brandon was small, Christmas shopping was pretty much a guessing game. I didn't really know what exactly he wanted, I basically just stuck with his favorite characters. This year, even though he is having no trouble at all letting me know what he wants for Christmas, he has come up with a fantastic, nonverbal way to make a Christmas wish list, and I want to share it.

I wish I had thought of this 7 years ago.

Basically, it's just a visual list. I take him for a preliminary shopping trip, with the understanding that we are on a mission...and, should he choose to accept it, we will not be buying anything. This is for research only. (He loves to research)

Brandon gets my phone, or a digital camera. I set him free and follow. When we leave, I have a clear, exact list of what he wants. Then the pictures go on the laptop for review. We've done this 3 or 4 times so far, and it works like a charm. He has a ton of fun. We really only do this for fun, but it occurred to me that it would have been nice if we had done this when he was non-verbal.

So...that's all. No big revelation, no tricks. Just bring a camera and let them go. :)