The Fourth Greatest Invention

Continuing on our Top 10 list of Greatest Inventions for the Autism World…let’s recap:

The First Greatest Invention was of course…The Timer

The Second Greatest Invention was then the…Mini-Trampoline

Then the Third Greatest Invention was the…Exercise Video (mainly P90X and Insanity)

And now it comes to Number Four on the Top 10 list.  Remember, these are MY unbiased thoughts and should not be taken (too seriously) and as absolutes.  Although I’m a pretty smart and witty cookie and I highly would suggest to you that I’m perfectly correct on my Top 10 list.

The Fourth Greatest Invention for the Autism World…The Dollar Store!

HUH?  Is that an invention?  You bet it is and here’s why it’s so great.

We have a “Responsibility Chart” on the door of our pantry at home.  It has the days of the week and little icons like a dog, clothes, dishes, a smiley face…to represent the areas our children (one typical, one with autism) need to perform on a daily basis in order to get a CHECK in the box for that day.

I’ve seen some people reward with candy, some promise large gifts…we do it a little differently.

With a child on the Spectrum…timing is everything.  If you are going to punish, you need to do it ASAP and not wait for a different moment because your child will lose context and it won’t be a learning experience.

We have 5 or so daily responsibilities for our children…were they nice/helpful with Charley  Bear (our GoldenDoodle?) Did they help with the dishes?  Were they pleasant to one another and a servant to their friends?  Did they get dressed, make their beds and brush their teeth? (still working on that last list)

If they do this then they get a check…

1. Let the child put the check in the box themselves…they will  take ownership

2. Stick to the system

3. Don’t bend on a check if they don’t do it that day…stay strong

So if they get all their checks for that day they get TEN CENTS.  Now you’re thinking “big deal, what’s a dime going to buy?”

BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT…the point is to reward immediately, to praise and encourage to keep on going because at the end of the week…they get a trip to The Dollar Store!

If you’ve never been to a Dollar Store then you don’t know what you’re missing!

Yes, most of the items there are ABSOLUTE JUNK…but to a kid, it’s pure heaven!

If your children are like mine, they will take interest in a toy for about 10 minutes then will put it down and get interested in something else.  Maybe they’ll come and pick it back up but 70% of the time…it’s lost its luster and there goes hard earned money.


Seriously…if I can spend $1.08 on a toy/prize/reward and my kids play with it for a day or two…GOLDEN!

So I’m happy because I don’t care if it breaks, they lose it, the dog eats it, my son throws it over the fence…certainly, I want them to enjoy and respect it…but I’m not bummed or upset if something bad happens to it.

PLUS…they love going to the Dollar Store…walking around there looking at all the items they can buy…all the colors, choices…it’s a great way to spend a Saturday hour or two.

So there you go…the Responsibility Chart earns you a dime a day and if you get checks all days for a week…that turns into a trip to the Dollar Store.

Last week my daughter who is typical had a total meltdown on Tuesday…she got an “X” in one of her boxes for the day and didn’t get to go to the Dollar Store last week…she was bummed but it’s a teaching opportunity to try and do better next time…plus she can still earn a dime for those good days with all checks…but there won’t be a trip to the Dollar Store at the end of the week.

So there you go…the Fourth Greatest Invention for the Autism World…EVER!

What says you???  Any thoughts/feelings about Numbers 5 – 10 on the Top 10 list?  I’m up for suggestions…let’s chat!

To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website ( and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: [email protected]…oh and they just released their book in SPANISH as well…buy it now!

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Seth/Melanie Fowler on Twitter
Seth/Melanie Fowler
Authored, Look at my Eyes, a parent's perspective re: navigating autism-early intervention, insurance, treatments, a paradigm of a family & child with autism
Seth/Melanie Fowler

Seth/Melanie Fowler

Authored, Look at my Eyes, a parent's perspective re: navigating autism-early intervention, insurance, treatments, a paradigm of a family & child with autism

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