Stevie’s Perspective on Grocery Shopping


I love going shopping. Grocery stores are my favorite. I used to like riding in the car-carts, where I can drive while my mom pushes the cart, but now I am too big. I tried to fit in one last year, but it wasn't at all like I remembered it. My knees went up to my chin and I was so squished! I wanted to make it work, but then I realized I had grown too big and there was no chance I could ride in one of those again.

These days, when I get to explore a store, I like to stand on the bar under the cart and hang on to the handle to ride. My mom walks behind me, with her hands on the bar as well, kind of caging me in. I like the feeling of my arms pulling me up to the bar-handle. I use my shoulder muscles to do that. I don't usually notice those muscles but when I ride a cart, I do and I like that feeling.  I get tired easily though, and then I like to lean back on my mom. Then I can relax and she holds me up. She doesn't appreciate that too much though and keeps telling me to "use my own muscles!".

When I get to ride on the cart by standing on the bottom bar and holding onto the top, I am taller than my mom. I can see so much of the store, and I get to feel the wind against my face if my mom is moving fast. It reminds me of my dads Miata. I loved riding in that car with the top down. The breeze against my face blows me into my happy place. I could stay there all day. Sometimes when I cry, the only thing that can calm me down is wind in my face. My mom sometimes gets the blow drier and blows my tears away with the "cool" setting. I like that a lot. It makes me giggle. And then my tears are off my face and my face is dry again. Like it's supposed to be.

When I am shopping and the air blows against my face while I have a fast ride in that cart, an unusual thing happens.  The people in the store always smile at me! When I am that happy, so happy that I can't stop smiling, everyone else seems to be happy too.  When I see them smile at me, I smile even more. I like to make people happy.

I also like to buy things, like Annie's Bunnies.  One time, I tried to get every single box off the shelves and put them in our cart. My mom said to only take 2 because other people might want some. I didn't like that idea because I want all of them--just in case. I really wanted to eat every single package of Bunnies in the store. I know it's a lot, but I like them a lot.  And sometimes its the only thing I will eat. I don't want to run out, so I want all of them.

But still, my mom said no. I almost got mad because I wanted them all, but my mom said that if we just get 2, then when we need more we can come back to the store to get more of them then. That was a good idea, because then there would be some here to buy. Plus, that means I get to come to the store again!  So I let her get away with limiting me to just 2 boxes.

I love going through the check out, too. My mom lets me load the food on the belt, and then it moves toward the person who scans every single thing we buy. They run it over glass and the computer screen shows how much it costs.  I like to see the numbers especially when there are more than one thing with the same price on it. Like the 2 boxes of Annie's Bunnies. It will say, "Annie's Bunnies....$3.59" and right under it will be the exact same thing" Annie's Bunnies .... $3.59". Imagine if I was allowed to buy all those boxes on the same day! There would be like 15 lines in a row that match!

I like the beeping too.  Every time something slides over the glass, it beeps. Sometimes the cashier gets  rhythm going with the beeps if she's sliding things real fast. Sometimes the other registers beep loud enough for me to hear that beep too. It's like a background music for the store.  That bothers me sometimes, and then I just plug my ears. But usually, I don't mind. I kind of expect that noise so it doesn't bother me as much.

When it is time to go, after the groceries are all paid for and put into bags, we always walk by a giant sign that says, "Thank You For Shopping at the Standish Hannaford!"  It always has the name of the town in it. In Portland, it says, "Thank you for shopping at the Portland Hannaford!".

I love seeing those signs when I leave the store. I always read it out loud--very loudly like it's a chant or a song. People in the store like it when I do that too. I know because they always smile at me when I do it.  I know I can count on seeing that sign no matter what Hannaford I go to. It's like the icing on the cake of the shopping trip.


Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop -- a monthly gathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it's like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo!

Want to join in on next month's Sensory Blog Hop? Click here!


Sensational Successes

Sensational SuccessesThis past month has been an attention grabber. It seems every time I turn around, there is another great improvement my son has made staring me in the face.  Both my boys with autism have changed remarkably since they were toddlers.  So for this post, I want to focus on all the improvements—things I never thought I’d see—to offer some encouragement and hope to those of you who are in the trenches wondering if it will always be as hard as it is right now.

Here are a few highlights of the great gains Stevie has made:

* Stevie used to refuse to walk under a ceiling fan or hanging lights.  They terrified him!  He wouldn't even walk under a hanging light or fan to get to me if I was on the other side.  He'd start to walk, then stare at the fan dangling down as if it were just floating in air ready to crash upon his fragile frame at any minute. For the longest time, I had to pick him up to carry him past the Terminator-fans (and lights).

And here he is today:


*  Stevie has always been very tactile defensive. He didn’t like soft touches—or if he did, it ticked him..a lot!  Because of his defensiveness, he would NEVER pick blueberries with us. He would come, and he would play in the nice, neat rows the orchard provided but he would not pick the blueberries. Reaching in to the bushes, past all those branches that scrape across his sensitive arms…it was just too much. And for what? He wouldn’t touch a blueberry with a 10 foot pole! It’s food. It’s a food he doesn’t eat.

Yet last weekend he did this:11855733_10206384260780417_1338278855031120380_n

*Stevie had gravitational insecurity when he was a preschooler. He was afraid to move. He wanted to be carried everywhere.  He would scream on a swing. He would not climb stairs to go on a slide.  If he were in a sand box, he would not step out of it. He would wait for someone to pick him up. He took forever to walk down stairs on his own. He always wanted to be carried.

And here is him last week:

(Click the picture to watch him in action!)



*Stevie is very sensitive to sounds, and would benefit from noise reducing headphones, but he won’t tolerate wearing them. Sometimes this leads to him becoming overstimulated and overwhelmed, often ending in meltdowns.  This week we went to an amusement park. We didn’t know how Stevie would handle it. Last time we went (which was several years ago) he had a hard time coping with all the sudden sounds, clunks and bangs and screeching children.  He was too little to ride any of the "real" roller coasters, but this year he is tall enough for most things. For his first roller coaster experience, he wanted to try  the biggest roller coaster in the park!  All the while I was thinking, "What if he decides half way through it that he wants out?" Bad scenes played out in my mind, but... he loved it! He wanted to ride it over and over. Who knew?

Stevie is in the first car, back seat with the hat!

Never say never, that is my motto.  Sometimes I am tempted to think some of the other sensory issues are not going to change, like his self-imposed severe food restrictions, for example.  Although he is severely restrictive, he is making progress… from slapping food out of my hand if he didn’t like the look or smell of it, to being able to let us eat what we want, and sometimes, he even peers over the table to look at it!  One time, he want to play at the table but it hadn’t been cleared yet. He actually touched Joy’s food in order to push it away from his space.  This, for him, is huge. And when I start to worry too much about it, I just look back and remember the things above—the amazing changes and progress my sweet boy has made.

Your child may be overwhelmed by the sensory world around him too, but from my experience, they do learn how to manage. They adapt to some extent. It won’t be this hard for them always. Especially if you have an OT that specializes in Sensory Processing.  They do amazing things!

There is hope.


Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it’s like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo! Want to join in on next month’s Sensory Blog Hop? Click here!