Autistic son doesn’t like grocery store


Thank you to Braden, and to Braden’s parents for allowing me to share this video with you, called “Autistic Son doesn’t like the Grocery store”, available through You Tube’s Creative Commons License.
Hopefully my analysis will help Braden and his parents further, and you can learn a lot about training your Child too, through what you observe here.
Hi I’m Parent Power Pete.

The title of the video is most appropriate:
Braden clearly does not like the grocery store. Let’s see:

Let’s look at this again with my comments:

(“look at me”) Why does he have to look at his dad?
He clearly doesn’t want to.”

(“no dancing”)Why“no dancing?”
It seems to be relieving his stress, which is pretty severe”

(“want you to be walking”) Why?

(“hands down”) Why?
What is his dad trying to achieve with these constant corrections?


If you asked his dad what he hoped to gain from this kind of Training, he would probably tell you that by stopping Braden’s odd behaviours, Braden will at least  appear to be normal.

Maybe his dad also hopes that if Braden keeps practicing the appearance of “normality” that Braden will eventually  become normal.

Well, Braden  probably will learn to display only “correct” behaviours in the end, even if he has no idea why some of his behaviours are correct and others are apparently wrong, and to bottle-up all the “incorrect” ones, which unfortunately are the very ones that give him his badly-needed Pressure-Release.

(So by being told to stop the wrong behaviours that give him relief , he is also being taught that he has to bottle up his true feelings and bottle-up his distress.)


How would  you feel about that ? To be told all the time to bottle-up your tension, like holding down a lid on a boiling pot.
How would you like to be taught that the things you usually want to do are wrong? And you don’t understand why they are wrong?

And, how would you feel about being constantly corrected?
What would that do to your sense of confidence, let alone your sanity?


Now don’t think I’m having a go at Braden’s parents, far from it: because all of us over-correct our Children. And I am grateful to them for sharing this video, as I said earlier.

It’s so helpful to look at someone else’s example, so we can see more easily what happens when we over-correct too,
so thank you again.


To conclude, if we adopt this “Corrective” training style, results can we reasonably expect?
Are we really happy if after the correcting, all we get from Braden and our Children is that they have learnt how to display the outward appearance of normality?

Can we really expect our Children therefore to become normal using this approach?

If they’re just going through the motions of normal behaviour without the necessary understanding of what’s really deeply involved ?

I’ll leave you to answer that.

(Probably you spend a lot of your time correcting your Child’s behaviour too.  And if so you know that it’s hard being a policeman 24 hours a day. You make a lot of effort, for how much reward?)

And all this might seem like Tough Love, but sometimes you need that to convince yourself that things aren’t working well enough, and that you are going to make the effort to change for the better!!!

Well is there a better way of Training our Children? YOU BETCHA !!!!

The best Training is my “Parent-Power, Real-World Training”, which you can access at any time you like by clicking the link below this video .

For the sake of this video, we will reduce the Training down to 4 basic steps as follows:

The first step in better Training, is to
(1) Start focusing on our Child and his or her needs, not on behaviour and continually “correcting” it.
It is only after proper understanding of anything,
that you can then make plans for improvement. Then,

(2) Provide Structure for your Child – then the most productive step –

Step (3) Provide some Real World Training.
This is where we motivate our Child to want to leave his or her Own World,
using the reward of playing FUN games with us, that we have organised. And finally,

(4) Be aware of the need for Rest (and provide it).


So how do those steps apply to Braden at the grocery store?

Step (1), we Focus on our Child not his or her behaviour

By looking at the Child not the behaviour we can immediately see that Braden is overwhelmed by the huge amount of sound and visual information in the grocery store.
Notice how Braden’s stress increases when his dad demands that Braden look at him. Looking at faces imposes a huge amount of extra visual pain to an over-sensitive person

See how that extra distress makes him flap and dance even more.

So the result of understanding Braden is that whatever training we do at the grocery store, it has to be as brief and undemanding as we can make it, to keep his overwhelm to a minimum.

In the same way that understanding Braden is the first step in really helping him, understanding your Child better is the first step in your really helping him or her.
Another benefit of understanding our Children is that we can then set up our Training to suit their Needs better.
And therefore they’ll end up getting more out of the Training, and Trusting us more.
And Trust is such an essential part of effective training.


(2) Next we provide Structure
to remove Braden’s uncertainty about what is happening around him now, and what’s going to happen to him in the future.
Because being Withdrawn, he doesn’t know.
So we tell Braden exactly how long we will be at the store.

We could even give him a personal clock for better control, and we MUST stick to the time limit and get out of the store when we say we will, because TRUST is the most valuable thing we can grow in our Child.

We could involve him in the decision-making right from the start. He seems verbal enough, so together we could decide  how long he can stand being in the store. That way he’s buying into the training.
At the end we can make Braden really happy, by celebrating his achievement of successfully remaining in the store of his own choice, which is an achievement he can understand.

This is part of the long haul, but successful haul towards creating a less-autistic child. Naturally over time we will extend how long Braden can tolerate staying in the grocery store, to challenge and stretch him, which is part of what good Training is all about!

And finally we get into Real World Training, Step (3),
which is to motivate our Child to want to leave Own World,
in order to play games with us in the Real World ! What Games could we play with Braden at the grocery store?

We find out what food Braden likes. We make it clear that it is somewhere in the store, maybe by showing a picture of where it is, or what aisle it is in, so he can plan ahead where to find it. When we go to the store, we give Braden as much help as he needs to avoid confusion, but we don’t lead him to the item, we make sure he makes personal effort to locate it, because doing this, requires him to enter the Real World to find it.
And when he finds it himself he will also have an increased sense of achievement and pride.

Once he finds the item, we give lots of praise and leave.

With this approach Braden now has:
• a purpose while in the store
• a reward of finding the item (and maybe eating it),and
less fear of the store.

Most importantly he has entered the Real World to achieve these successes,
so he is now beginning to associate

• Entering the Real World with
• Getting more pleasure.

And that is the essence of Real World Training.

There are other grocery games we could play with Braden, but this video has gone way over time, and we still have the last step to look at.

So the last step, Number (4), is for you to be more “Rest-Conscious”.
Especially when your Youngster first makes the effort to enter the Real World, he or she will find it tiring, so it is up to you to notice when that happens and to provide some well-earned Rest.
We might piggy-back our Child for a while, for example, which provides nice pressure-relief, if you can do it, or if in a grocery store like Braden, possibly put him or her in the trolley, but in general provide some wind-down relief.

We need to recognise in general that our Children need more Own World retreat than others, because of their extra stresses.

Note that with Real World Training, we don’t disparage Own World retreat, we respect it and we use it as a helpful companion and sometimes as a reward.

I hope you have enjoyed and benefited from this video.

You will understand more of the Real World Training techniques when you visit the mild-autism website

And remember my offer to review your situation by video like this one, by video, if you send me an email.
My contact details are on the website. I look forward to communicating with you again.