One of the hardest paths I’ve ever taken as an autism parent was to try to find a direction for my son’s abilities. Alphonse, to this day, has very limited interests, save for bubbles, toddler playthings, and Disney music. For years, we’ve tried to expose him to different things- to music and dance, to sports, to technology- but Alphonse’s interests are slow in changing. For sure, that boy is as headstrong as his momma. 🙂
Recently, however, we found something that actually excited him, and guess what it is- food shopping! And I don’t mean just food shopping in a sanitized, high-end grocery or supermarket (which still confuses him somewhat); this young man loves all sorts of markets, from the dinky sari-sari (convenience) stores scattered all over our small neighborhood to the talipapa (temporary wet market) a couple of streets away.
And while he never, ever, ever goes out unaccompanied by an entourage of devoted groupies, he always savors the chance to say hello to the neighbors and be part of our little barrio. It makes my heart sing when he waves back to the people in the street like a celebrity. You have got to be amazed at his perseverance to become part of people’s lives, even when many others have given up hope in him.
This little piggy went to market!
He loves to buy vegetables for his favorite meal of sinigang (braised pork in tamarind stew).
Then he does a short sidetrip to buy a packet of cookies, a reward for good behavior.
I think we finally have a job training plan for him. 🙂