Social networking has opened up the world to saavy writing, awareness and, communication. The increasing popularity of social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin has been instrumental in the discussion of topics, social networks have provided a platform for viable communication for many writers. The audience plays an equally important part in the dissemination of information by sharing and commenting on articles and, even increasing followers. The sharing of the blog post ” NIAM THE BALLOON THIEF CAUSES A SCUFFUFLE AT LONGO’S” ,was tweeted , shared, commented and discussions arose over the difficulties many parents face when in social settings with their children.
On Sunday afternoon, I had just finished lunch, and was getting ready to take a leisurely walk with the family, to enjoy one of the first hot days of the year, when the phone rang, I was pleasantly surprised, actually delighted, to hear from Ken, a Senior Executive, from Longos who had taken time out of his weekend, from his family, to give me a phone call, after reading ” The Blog”. He was genuinely apologetic for an experience at one of his locations for actions he did not commit, happily took ownership of, spoke of how the Company and himself, feel strongly about ALL CUSTOMERS, having a great and equal experience in his store. He spoke at length of the blog, listening patiently of my replay of the events, even sharing his personal stories of his own experiences and feelings in the area of Special Needs, Longos equity policies and training procedures. I welcomed the phone call and gesture.
Monday morning I received a phone call from Vince, the Manager of the Longos store in question, inviting us back to the store , I learned a team meeting was held, discussions about the incident took place, solutions and protocols implemented. As a parent advocate and activist I could not ask for more. It is the sharing of information, learning from the past, discussing, raising awareness, to make the future a better place, is welcoming to the heart and, for my audience, it is a proud moment to know some in our community care, out of this a partnership has arose, healthy conversations took place, only TOGETHER, can we forge forward.
At 3:00 pm Niam announced he wanted to go to Longos. As you know when your Autism child announces he wants something, he wants something, I knew he had balloons on his mind. We arrived at Longos and the experience was great. Niam started his adventure with a Starbucks Chocolate Chip Cookie, we shopped, he put everything sweet and yummy in my cart, we negotiate, I take half out, and than the inevitable, he tried to take a balloon off the display, I stepped in and, took the opportunity to teach him to ask. We walked to Customer Service, I met Vince ( The Store Manager), a pleasant man, who I have had the luxury of meeting before, he happily met Niam, introduced himself to my son, and Niam, whose language is on the emerging side, handed him one of his business cards in return. I silently enjoyed the interaction.
Niam left happy with two balloons in hand.
So for all those Autism Parents and Special Needs Educators out there reading this Autism Mommy blog, you will understand when I let you in on a secret, Niam is not just obsessed with the glistening and bright balloons, but he has this preoccupation to pop them, video tape himself, watch it over and over again, delete the video, and announce another visit to Longos, entailing, a Starbucks chocolate chip cookie, enough junk food supplies to host a children’s birthday party, and the sparkly red and gold balloons to start the cycle again.
Dare I tell Longos what really happens to those pretty balloons? All in the Life of an ASD Mom!
13 yr old Niam Jain Autism Artist who expresses his inner most feelings and thoughts through his artwork: As seen on Samsung Canada and Global News, you may love his new painting, Red Rain, 3 feet x 4 feet, in your home or work of business. Niam sells his artwork to Collectors all over North America – The painting represents Autism Awareness and the capabilities of all Persons.
Click here for more on Printable Worksheets for Autism Cooking and Autism Education Resources and Free ABA Resources.
You might like one of our free step by step evidence based Autism Cooking Videos – And there is a Longo’s Syrup bottle used at the end of the recipe