Field trip to McDonald's
#1 goes to a different public school than his siblings. The school has an ALS(adult learning support) program which allows him to be mainstreamed in certain subjects and gives him extra support in the areas he struggles with. When I got a permission slip for a field trip to McDonald's, I had squelch my WTF reaction and understand why.
The field trip was planned by his special education teacher to give the kids a life lesson. They were going to McDonald's for facilitated interaction and pragmatic language practice. They each were going to learn how to wait in line, ask for what they wanted, pay for it, count the change and then check their order before sitting down to talk with their friends. It made sense, I just didn't like the food choice.
McDonald's and I don't have a relationship. I broke up with fast food in 1991 and haven't had it since. At my heaviest, I weighed around 225lbs and made a lifestyle choice. I lost 70 pounds by committing to a lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise. I decided that I would not introduce fast food to the kids as a food choice, just because fast food is evil. Who needs health issues on top of Autism? Not me.
Years ago, before our family was complete, I was asked by friends, "What are you going to do when all his friends are eating McDonald's?" I replied, "I will give money and let him try it." I have let him buy ice cream when we were returning DVDs to Red Box, but the line was drawn there. I would give him the dollar and change to buy the ice cream and watch him interact with the employee. It wasn't smooth, and I needed to step in and guide him through the process. And, I realized he needed more practice interacting with people in the community who didn't know him. And then, his fourth grade class went to the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, and the cost covered lunch at McDonald's. The day had arrived that he was actually going to eat "food" at McDonald's. I had to prep him about what to buy, since he is very picky. After the trip, he told me he ate fries, apple slices and a milk shake. Not sure if that is true, but I'll go with it.
I signed the permission slip and sent in the money for the McDonald's field trip. The more exposure he gets interacting with the community, the better, even if it means he is eating at McDonald's. Gotta pick your battles. I'm putting pro-biotics in his yogurt.