When I usually go shopping, I don't think about myself as an Aspie and how everything affects me. I just get on with where I want to go and what I want to get, then go home. But last time I went shopping, I took note of all the things around me that could affect me as an Aspie. Here is what I thought.
On the bus going there, if I'm with my mum I will chat to her so I try to tune in to what she is saying and tune out others talking; but this can be hard when other people have v loud voices and shout to each other, and little ones crying. If I am on my own I usually look out the window and tune out other people talking around me.
Inside the shopping centre I noted all the lights and the music. The lights were quite bright and could really affect someone, esp a child, with a sensory challenge to lights. The music was quite loud in places, with different music coming from different shops at various levels. Can be a hard challenge to a child with major challenges with noise. I don't mind communicating with shop staff because I have to, but I try not to speak as much as I want to. One thing I don't like is having to go back and check something with staff in a shop eg being charged wrongly. I hate this as I feel that everyone is looking at me, and I hate confrontations.
So, here are my tips for shopping as an Aspie:
1. Write a list of what you want to buy
2. Put that list in order of the shops you need to go to
3. Try to tune out other people's chat on the bus
4. At the shopping centre, try to tune out the constant chatter and music
5. Concentrate on just what you want and where you are going.
6. If you get flustered, and have an Aspie card, and feel you might have a meltdown, then show it to people. Don't be afraid to do that.
So that is how I felt shopping as an Aspie and my tips for a good shop. If you have any more tips, please let me know.