Losing a wallet is traumatic, but it can be prevented w/ the right training.
Try some of the suggestions below and let me know if you have any ideas, post them in the comments below.
Before I begin, the majority of my clients are Boys. I have no experience with purses. I could come up w/ some ideas but ill stick w/ my experiences to date and what has worked w/ me when helping students stay organized and helping them to manage their money on a daily basis.
Do not keep your wallet in a back back, bag or lunch bag
may have to leave your bag at a designated area when at a museum and it
could get stolen, or set your bag down when in a public place and
forget where you have left it. As much as I try to stay on top of
things and make sure everyone keeps track of their belongings, things
still get misplaced and sometimes lost. If you are 16 and older, its time to stop wearing kids clothes, no more baggy pants or shorts that do not have proper pockets for keys and money. We are learning Independence and how to be self sufficient. Its time teens start to keep track of their own things :-)
I chose one that is small and good for a few cards and some bills, thats it! I also carry my wallet in my front pocket. It is easier to keep track of, easy to remove and less chance of it falling out of my pocket...all of which happens to my students on the Autism Spectrum. I encourage my students to do the same. And find a pocket that you will ALWAYS keep your wallet in. When I go home at night time, my wallet, keys and change have a designated place. Parents, there are many "man trays" or organizers you can pick up at various stores. It's a place to drop the contents of your pockets when you get home. This way when it comes to time to go out the next day, there is no panic over where your wallet is. Its in the SAME SPOT every day.
I recommend a credit card wallet. It may seem too small but if you are only carry some i.d, a few bills and a bank card, this is perfect. It also scores BIG points for helping keep your student or child organized.
(I put some links below for smaller sized wallets)
There is no room for clutter in small wallet!
I do not encourage change purses. They are bulky and after a few days
downright cumbersome when change, receipts and bus transfers collect w/
in. Change goes in a separate pocket and when you get home, put it straight in your piggy bank. When dealing w/ money, I teach the Students to use cash when
possible. This makes money transactions go a lot smoother. Some
cashiers are patient and can tell that a student is learning to use
money for the first time, but we do not always have the luxury of a
empty line up and a calm cashier. I teach efficiency. Pay w/ a bill
that is closest to the dollar amount. While the change is coming one
hand grabs your bag(s) the other accepts the change, walk away and find a
place to organize yourself. If possible, while at the cash, put the
change in a designated change pocket amd stuff the bills into your
wallet, take your bags and walk away. Most students get hung up on the
"change exchange" and may spend a long time in line trying to sort
their money. I find it a lot easier to steer them out of line and find a
safe out of the way spot to get themselves sorted.
This is why I
want them to get in the practice of having their wallet in the same
place ALL THE TIME. It becomes second nature to grab your wallet, find
your bills and easy to put the wallet away. This way, the chances of it
getting lost or misplaced are reduced dramatically.
Keeping track of your wallet
I also teach them
how to keep track that they have their wallet when out. Its a subtle method and prevents the frantic pat down we sometimes do when wondering if we left our wallet someplace, It looks a lot less conspicuous. If
you keep your wallet in the front pocket, its easy to find if your hand is
resting on your thigh when walking, your thumb can feel the out line
of it in your pocket. This
way they are reassured that their wallet is on them and they can check
as often as they like w/ out the frantic pat down. Same goes for the
back pocket, I dont suggest the back pocket as wallets easily slip out
of the back pocket or stick out if they are too big (remember my
suggestion for a small wallet) and there are pick pockets out in the
world looking for an easy target. If your hand is close to your thigh, the pinky finger can feel the outline of the wallet in the back pocket, again, its not as obvious as patting your butt.
I have had a student lose their wallet on the bus. They had on shorts that were extremely baggy and even though they were diligent in checking their wallet every so often, the wallet fell out during a transition. Parents, baggy pants with a light material or shorts are not good for wallets and keys, just saying!
Here is a good article on what to do if you lose your wallet:
I found this article on Wrong Planet about what to do if you lose
your wallet. It is written for Older Teens or Adults w/ Autism.