Amazon Go, a ‘No-Check-Out-Line’ Grocery Store, Great Option for Autism Families

Amazon Go, a ‘No-Check-Out-Line’ Grocery Store, Great Option for Autism Families December 6, 2016

Image source: YouTube
Image source: YouTube

Um, where was this when I lived in New York City with D and his baby sister A more than a decade ago and used to practice walking up and down the aisles of our local grocery store with D, praising him for keeping himself together and giving him an M&M at the end of every aisle?

(Yes, I know it was classic ABA, classic Pavlovian training, all that. But it was pretty much the only thing out there at the time in regards to autism behavior therapy.)

Grocery stores, any stores have always been a challenge for D. Even now, at age 16 with years of practice and years of us getting to know what works for D and what doesn’t, what triggers him, what he can manage and what he cannot — it still can be a challenge. Shopping, navigating check-out lines, learning to pay by handing over a debit card or doing self-checkout, just walking through a store when he may not want to — these are all community-based instructions we’ve worked on for years.

Now Amazon is rolling out a promotion of a brick-and-mortar grocery store called Amazon Go that incorporates the latest in AI and other technologies, such that you can activate an Amazon app, go into the store, take whatever you want and put it in your grocery bag, and your account automatically gets charged. No lines, no check out. Check out this video:

What a great option that would’ve been for D growing up. What a great option to have now. Granted, I still would spent the time helping him learn to go into stores and businesses, navigate communities and protocols and the marketplace — because that’s part of what it takes to live in this world. But how great it would’ve been to have this option.

Go in, get what you want, leave. That’s a solid gold option for our autism family.

Amazon is testing out its first store in Seattle. Here’s to hoping it goes well and spreads across the to other cities!

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