With Autism, you often wonder just how much they're absorbing, retaining, and remembering as you go about your day. It sometimes feels like they're sooooo not paying attention, but then little things happen that make you realize you don't give them nearly enough credit.
At the local health-food store today, I was intently studying the gluten-free snacks, looking for goodies to fill Abby's treat box used for rewards during ABA. Rachael was at home with a sitter (Abby and I had been at a doctor's appointment), and Abby was milling around nearby, examining the boxes of gluten-free pasta. She wanders a little further, but I can still see her out of the corner of my eye.
Suddenly, she's gone. I peer over the display case, and can't see her. I start walking, looking down each individual aisle, and can't find her. I call her name. No response (no surprise). I glance at the door. No one has come and gone for several minutes, and the people here know us and wouldn't let Abby leave with a stranger.
It's not that big of the store. Where the heck is she? My heart starts to pound as panic slowly starts seeping in.
And then I spot her.
She had gone, unassisted, and helped herself to a carton of her favourite brand of chocolate soy milk (which she has been crying for, but can no longer have). She then proceeded to the till, and was waiting, patiently, for Mommy to come pay for it.
I think we got the we-must-pay-for-things-before-we-leave-the-store thing down pat. Now we have to work on the please-don't-wander-away-from-Mommy part.