Having a Child with Down Syndrome, Part CXIV: Money Awareness

Oh, poor Alice. She doesn’t really get money too well. To be more precise, she doesn’t understand the value of money. It’s hard to tell whether she knows the difference between the value of a one dollar bill and a twenty. So how do you begin? Honestly, I don’t know; so like many things, I make them up as I go along. E needed a break and needed to get the kids out of the house, so we decided to go see Moana (hey – Lin Manuel Miranda – wonderful music. My kids were entranced). Because it’s a movie, Alice immediately bargained to get more. “I get popcorn and Diet Coke?” then after I gave her the +2 Look of Are You Shitting Me, she added, “please?” I said, “sure, but you have to pay for it with your own money.”

I called up the Cinemark theater where we were going and explained that I was trying to teach my daughter the value of money and could they tell me how much a small popcorn and drink cost. They told me and I started pre-teaching her. Alice got her money and we did a short game of “is this enough?” and “is this too much?” until she had an amount that would give her a reasonable amount of change. I talked through the process a couple more times because repetition is important.

When we got to the theater, I did a little more repetition while we waited in line.

And she ordered, paid and collected her change. Step one, completed.

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