For Kids With Autism, It’s All About Consistency, Schedules, and Routines
This is a post in the weekly Autism Hopes series by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez, a mom who blogs over at AutismWonderland.
I cannot take credit for making this – Norrin’s therapist did.
From the moment I learned that my seven-year old son was diagnosed with autism, the three words I heard over and over again were: consistency, schedule, and routine. Now, I’m an organized person but keeping to a routine has never been my strong suit. And as much as I try to set a routine – it’s hard. There are just too many schedules involved. Our lives are too hectic. And I want Norrin to be the kind of kid to just go with the flow, because life is so often unpredictable.
There are times when I forget that Norrin has autism. Since he’s my only child, I take for granted that many of his characteristics are simply part of his personality. And then when his routine gets messed up and he has a meltdown – I’m like, oh yeah – that’s the autism.
The reality is – sometimes Norrin just can’t go with flow.
I’ve been struggling to get back into a consistent routine since last fall, especially after I was stranded in Texas due to Hurricane Sandy. That week I was away really upset him – he still says, “Mommy’s in Texas,” sometimes when I’m leaving for work or coming home late.
And almost two weeks out of school because of the New York School Bus Strike, having our daily routine change from day to day ,hasn’t helped either.
When Norrin’s routine is disrupted, his behavior changes as well as his sleep patterns. He becomes anxious and emotional.
The other day, our home therapist suggested we create a schedule for Norrin. I’ll admit it’s been something that I’ve been meaning to do. I just didn’t know how to go about setting one up.
A few days later, our therapist arrived with a schedule for Norrin. We’ve been using it for the last few weeks and it’s really working. Norrin especially likes arranging his schedule. And on days when I forget about keeping up with it, Norrin reminds me.
Do you use a schedule with your kids?