It is one thing to achieve an objective while at the house, it is quite another to try and achieve that out in public. For one thing, when you have a kid on the spectrum you don't know how they are going to ACT. (And that leaves uncertainty... for mama.) And when learning a new thing, you by definition aren't going to be great at it.
One of my favorite books is Dancing with Max. In it Emily Colson talks about how she decided to just venture out. She wasn't going to stay inside anymore. It is in my top five. It is raw and real... and I recommend. But I digress. I am not quite 'there' mentally to want to 'venture out.' But it is still a requirement.
The issue is, where do you go? The lights, the sounds AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!! Our consultant told me, "you have to practice these things IN PUBLIC." <<Sigh>> In April, Autism Awareness Month, when we ventured out I'd make a funny about it, if only to myself and say, "I'm just making people aware..."
Well God has been good in bringing to mind some really cool places to go. Because I wasn't going to take him to the grocery... or Wally World.. or anyplace with that much commotion. So here is a list of places we have visited. Think mom and pop.
A fresh juice joint. The only people there most of the time were us and the store worker and one time the owner. They now know my kid. And are not phased. And he loves fresh juice now which is a BONUS. (Including the ones w/ kale!)
A bakery. We chose GF bakery that had zero people in it. Again ample space to navigate what was going on.
A wheatgrass place. This is basically an empty room with a desk in front. You ask for what you want.. and leave. (You would think not much could go wrong but... )
A friend's house. Especially if they do RDI are or familiar with it. Otherwise a good friend who will do what you ask and help you 'set the scene.'
A SMALL natural heath food store. These can be crowded but we have a really high priced one that very few people visit. So I just pick a few choice items when I go there. Do not do your weekly shopping during these trips.
The Post Office after hours. Many post offices have front areas that are open 24 hours to go in and mail things. This can be a very good place to test stuff out. We have been there twice. Once when there were other patrons and another time when it was empty. This was a surprisingly good 'bridge' location to work on our objectives.
An ice cream shop (on a cold rainy day.) We have one near us that is self serve soft serve and they have milk free options. In addition they have a toppings bar. (I really should be more thankful for that.) It provides more "opportunities" than those above with all of the navigating of choices and how to work things.
In each of these places things did not go perfect; especially the first time out. We had to go back, revisit, try again. And we are continuing to work out our objectives in the "out of doors." As you think of settings of where to try your objectives, think outside the box.. outside the store.
I think in the next few weeks I will tell you more about what we have done in each of these places.