Ever gone shopping and ended up with a child who, after struggling to cope, dropped to the floor in a heap?
Successful shopping, like so many other projects, is in the preparation.
Entering stores, trying on clothes, making decisions – all can be stressful.
Last week, we focused on the preparation phase by looking for clues in the closet as to which clothing is most likely to be well accepted.
From the information you gathered from that article, draw up a list of fabrics, styles and stores that might work.
With that, it’s almost time to shop.
Shopping (v.): an overstimulation nightmare that can leave me incapacitated for days.
1. Prior to shopping, what is the goal? One pair of pants? Two shirts?
Better to be successful with fewer items purchased than try to complete it all at once and have a more resistance to the next shopping trip. Or give them the option and ask which way would work better – quick, multiple trips or one marathon?
2. Maybe going shopping isn’t necessary at all. What about shopping online or purchase the clothing, bring it home to try on and return the unsuitable purchases.
One consideration to shopping this way, do you have any sub-goals, like teaching coping skills? If not, then these are great options.
3. Go online to discuss clothing options. Are social norms/trends something to consider? Is their favourite colour available this season? Is there another colour option?
4. Discuss expected behaviourand what would make a successful trip. Going to two stores? Trying on 3 pairs of pants? Is buying a necessity? If it is, purchasing may be part of the success checklist, but be careful with that one. Just because it is purchased, doesn’t mean it will get worn afterwards.
5. Discuss what behaviour is not allowed.
6. Decide on a treat after a successful shopping trip.
7. Pick a day and time when stores are less busy.
8. Do heavy work/physical activity prior to shopping to help regulate.
9. Eat and hydrate prior to shopping.
10. Is there anything else that would help, such as ear plugs, headphones, or a tight baseball cap/toque?
11. If possible, always give them a sense of control and options, while noting if decision-making has become too difficult.
12. If well-worn clothes are favoured, go to a used clothing store. Best to check the store out prior to shopping as some can have odors that would bother an olfactory sensitive person.
13. Know of anyone who would give you hand-me-downs? Less stress, less money and environmentally friendly.
14. Have a clothing swap among friends or neighbours.
15. Before embarking on the shopping adventure, would having a fidget item or two in their pocket or your purse help the process? Does having a new one help? Check out our wide variety of items for fidget and movement.