Autism Blog Hop

Autism day
Autism day

Autism fact: 1 in every 100 people have some form of autism. Add to that their family and friends and everyone knows somebody – diagnosed or not – who is affected by this.

Be aware that routine is very important to people with autism and change can be very disturbing. Take this into account when you interact with them. Take your time to alert them to anything that could change their routine.
For instance:

  • Traffic is causing you to be late for an appointment? Call the person you’re supposed to met, preferably before the time you’re supposed to meet up. This will lessen the anxiety if you’re not at the appointment
  • If a child with autism is given a new babysitter, make time to introduce the child to the babysitter, possibly before the actual night you will be leaving. Have this person be part of the night routine a few days before the actual night so the babysitter can get used to the routine
  • Make lists and use pictograms, depending on the age of the child, to teach routines. Be prepared to follow them at all times so make them doable on a daily basis! If need be you can have separate routines for weekdays and weekenddays. This will give your child (and sometimes adult) something to hold onto.

I’m sure you can come up with other ways to give your child/friend/acquaintance a safety blanket? Simply being aware of how disturbing a change in routine can be will help you deal with it.

Comment with how you would deal with a change in daily routine and I’ll award a lucky commenter with a $10 Dreamspinner Press gift card to spend on whatever you like at the store!

20 Comments

  1. i suffer from a variety of learning disabilities INCLUDING ADD and my father had aspergers when he was alive. both of us had a tough time in changing routines. so for us two we did the following to help out:

    — for those that knew us and our difficulties if there was a change in plans ahead of time they let us know asap so we could adjust

    — both of us learned to work ‘backwards’ when it came time for allowing time to get ready to go and that included allowing for delayed

    –if my dad and i were going some where NEW we’d litterally do a ‘test run’ out to that place the day before’ so we could see where the place it was. also w/ the internet we did google map said place to also have a photo of the area too

    that and so much more…

    parisfan_ca@yahoo.com

    — i learned breathing tecniques in case of unexpected changes so i wouldn’t freak out and take time to ‘re organize’

  2. I have problems with my back as well as Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerated Colitis I don’t go out very often because it can causes me to be very anxious at times. The own way I can calm down is to go somewhere quiet and sit for a while until I calm down.

    ShirleyAnn@speakman40.freeserve.co.uk.

  3. It’s always best to discuss any changes with the child and do it repetitively, and calmly to help ease them through anything that might disrupt their routine.

  4. By planning ahead, checking & double-checking the directions/change, and rehearsing it in my mind a number of time or getting familiar with the layout.
    strive4bst(AT) yahoo(Dot) com

    1. Glad this works for me, but personally, I can’t run through directions too often, because the anxiety heightens. But planning definitely works!
      Thank you!

  5. I don’t do routines very often, but I react strongly to being late for certain things like job interviews, appointments, and flights. For the first two, I always map it and leave really early. For flights, I ask for accommodations. Between my anxiety and my bipolar, I don’t handle the crowding, lines, and noise well at all. I go through the “fast” security line and board in the first group on the plane. I didn’t know about any of this until I had an anxiety attack in an airport a few years ago. Once I found out, flying became easier.

  6. I think planning out your day is important. It’s good to review the schedule the day before an outing (and possibly a few minutes before leaving home) and if there is a change to to immediately mark it down. In addition, I always thought it was a good idea to update a family member about my plans for a day and to text them or call them with any changes. I have no sense of direction (it’s seriously horrible…I get lost in department stores sometimes) and do a lot of walking so I’m also always sure to have a fully charged phone on me and always make sure to inform a family member so they have their phone by their sides.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  7. Routine is sooo important in our house. Having 2 young children with autism means everything has to be planned in advance.

    But… there have been a few times routine has had to be changed, but we deal with it in different ways. Telling them the night before if possible is the best way for us. Having to tell mt son that his keyworker won’t be at school the next day, telling my daughter that her school is closed the next day but trying to get her to understand that her brothers school is still open, things like this sometimesaaren’t easy, but necessary.

    Dee x

  8. I love this…communication is key. My second cousin is autistic. Her parents hosted our family reunion last summer and with the program came an insert explaining Kennadi and her personality, her possible adverse actions. It was not only informative, but kind of beautiful in a way. You could feel the love for her from the words written by her parents. People were comfortable around her without making her an outcast…I love my family.

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