The rush of Christmas is over and the cupboards are starting to look bare. What's needed is a proper shopping trip and maybe a chance to grab a few bargains at the New Year sales. Though many people can shop online, it's important to not forget that there are still plenty of people who are either unable or unwilling to do so.
When these people are the family or friends of people with autism, it can present problems, particularly with meltdowns due to excessive sensory stimulation. The potential for this to happen often prompts families of people with autism to avoid going shopping altogether, which can contribute to the whole family becoming isolated. With patience, understanding and careful planning, you can avoid having to take this head-in-the-sand approach.
|Sensory Hug® Mini - Bulldog
Top tips for anxiety free shopping
In this edition of the Medigarments blog, we look at some tips to help make the whole experience easier.
- Forewarned is Forearmed. People with autism often cope better with stressful situations if they know what to expect. Many stores offer virtual tours on their websites; if there is no such tour, make a quick visit to the store yourself first and take a video that you can watch together. Using street view on Google Maps, you can even take a virtual drive to the store.
- Practice Makes Perfect. Start small with a short shopping trip and keep purchases to a minimum. Any success the person with autism has, however seemingly small or insignificant, should be lavishly rewarded. Next time, the trip can be a fraction longer. Next time, longer still and so on. Repetition is key.
- Rest and Relax. Choose a time to go shopping when the person with autism is relaxed and rested, which will increase the chance of a successful trip.
- Personalised Protection. You will probably already know what things may act as potential triggers. Be ready to handle them. If the person is made anxious by loud noises, a pair of headphones may help. If it's the lighting that's a problem, take along sunglasses or their favourite hat. People with autism often have a favourite object, which can be kept in reserve if all else fails.
Medigarments Ltd are also able to help with our expertly-designed Sensory Hug®, a specialised garment from the SDO® collection which delivers dynamic compression when worn. Clinical and research evidence has shown that dynamic compression can help reduce sensory-seeking behaviour patterns in people with autism.
All garments from the SDO® collection are expertly designed and manufactured in the UK, supporting British jobs, skills and trade. For more information about SDO® dynamic compression orthoses from Medigarments Ltd, please do not hesitate to browse our website or reach out to our dedicated and knowledgeable team. To receive more special features like this, along with lots of other news and updates, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.