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Holiday Shopping for children with Autism

Due to the long awaited refund from Social Security we were able to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend at the sales promoting the Christmas season. Nicholas is ten and high functioning, Matthew is nine and nonverbal. Back when they were 2 and 3 we had visited a Kmart on Thanksgiving Day, thinking it would be empty, but that was a huge mistake. I believe since the kids were younger and in the diagnosis stages it was an ordeal I would not repeat given the opportunity. After a quick exit from Kmart we had stopped at Sizzler but that ended with a take out dinner.

Jump ahead several years and toss in a few hundred dollars and I cannot wait to get into the holiday mix and buy some goodies for the kids and myself. Thanksgiving was doable at Sizzler and thanks to the Disabled placard we got a parking space near the front door of Best Buy and Toys R Us the morning after Thanksgiving, commonly referred to as Black Friday.

Usually Matthew will want to go directly to Toys R Us and not venture into Best Buy, which are next to one another. On Black Friday he pulled my arm to Best Buy, so inside we went along with hundreds of other shoppers. There were more shoppers at Best Buy than over at Toys R Us. We walked around looking and could not find any Game Boy Advance games so proceeded to get a portable CD player and deposit it inside the minivan and head over to Toys R Us.

Nicholas went directly to the games section while Matthew went over to the videos. Matthew actually picked out a video in record time and did not need to spend time bouncing around the video section. I found a portable DVD player inside the games section that I purchased and utilized a Toys R Us card/coupon that was 20% off purchases. This could only be used once and the items inside the games section had to be paid for there.

On Thanksgiving Day I purchased the DVD of Madagascar at Rite Aid. This is rated PG and Nicholas watched it when we got back home from Sizzler.



After the movie he told me about a game, Madagascar Operation Penguin for the GameBoy Advance. This is rated E for everyone and just released on November 7, 2005. Nicholas told me yesterday he finished the game, meaning he did it all the way through after spending two days playing off and on - between numb fingers.

Today when the Family Friends volunteer came over to play with Nicholas I had out the Robot Lab that melts crayons into robot molds. This is for ages 8 and older with no mess, non-toxic. It plugs in and includes 12 crayons. The labels are already peeled off.

I mentioned to the volunteer while we were in another room that I was going to get the game Battleship for Nicholas. I told her that this would be something they could do together during her visits and she recalled having lots of fun with the game as well.

Nicholas then proceeded to pump up the Sock'Em Boppers, which delighted Matthew. We had a pair of these a few years ago and decided to pick them up at Toys R Us again. They can be blown up by mouth, but Nicholas had this done fairly quickly with the Air Pump.



Next Nicholas got out the Mini Roboraptor we picked up at Toys R Us to show her. This does take two AA batteries and provides lots of imaginative play for Nicholas along with his other Dinosaur figures.



In fact Nicholas also had his new Lego Dino Attack on the floor. This is for ages 7-14, #7473 with 42 pieces. He wants the larger sized Dino Attack for Christmas - so I have to shop for the larger one. I would rather get this than the larger Roboraptor that costs one hundred bucks and more. At Best Buy we saw the Robosapian for about $249.99 at the front door and quickly passed it by!



When we were at Walgreens Nicholas just had to have an Aquapet. Awhile ago we went through the Neopet stage, so I was clueless to Aquapets until he showed me it. These are for ages 5-11 and come with temporary batteries. We have yet to replace them. He has it on display on the file cabinet with all his Lego Bionicles he has built.



Matthew picked out movies while we were out shopping. He chose Lilo & Stitch Stitch Has a Glitch and Kipper Friendship Tails

While at the library Matthew picked out a few Rolie Polie Ole movies. I am going to get Lucky Ducks for Matthew since I saw them at the FloorTime clinic and they look interesting.



A few days ago I viewed a demonstration of the Leap Frog Magnetic Alphabet Fridge Phonics on either HSN or QVC, and want to get them for Matthew since he likes to play with items on the refrigeator and move them around.



While at Target Nicholas picked out the Seaworld Tycoon Computer Game. A few years ago I picked up the Zoo Tycoon game and we both had a hard time with it so we sold it on ebay. Nicholas has been busy with his Game Boy Advance and other toys to request using the computer for this game yet, but since we have visited Sea World I am confident this game will be a hit. This is also rated E for everyone.




A few months ago I picked up a paper plane kit from Border's and recently Nicholas chose a book from the library entitled Super Quick Origami Animals. I am planning on getting him How to Make Origami Airplanes that Fly, selling at Amazon.


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