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Today our ASA(Autism Society of America) chapter hosted an event at Build-a-Bear. Each child was given a voucher worth $25 to spend. I took the boys aside and explained the  rules: 1) stay together, 2) $25 is all you get. You can get an outfit and an animal or any combination, but it can't exceed $25. And then, all three took off in different directions. At that moment, I was glad for 4 things: 1) I knew most of the parents in the store from the ASA meetings, 2) most of the staff knew us from prior visits, 3) the store wasn't that big, and 4) my kids are not runners, so I knew I was 30 seconds away from locating any one of them, if not more.

The results:

Child #1, Autism, age 10, walks around the store once and sits on floor near the door. I tell him to get up and he walks around the store at least 10 times then spends time at the sound table. The bear counselor helps him find the one bear that lights up and he declares "this is the best bear in the store." Under budget and happy.

Child #2, Asperger's, age 8, takes a careful assessment of the inventory and makes his choices so he gets four things and spends every dollar.

Child #3, PDD/NOS, age 6, grabs the monkey, cause he loves monkeys, and asks me how much he has left. He then grabbed a little light-saber and was content. Under budget and happy.

A great day, a great outing. 


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