Sunday, 14 October 2007

Routines

Your comfort zone is your routine, your set of habits, your safety bubble of easy, comfortable and familiar habits. And if something upsets your safe routine, you may freak! And more so if you are autistic.

People with autistic spectrum disorders are often reliant on fixed routines which are known and trusted and may find even small changes to routine disruptive or distressing. They may have stereotyped or repetitive behaviour such as wishing to sit in the same seat and becoming upset if they cannot.

When my PC died, I had to change my routine drastically till I got a new one. I found this very hard!
I have a routine round the supermarket, so if they decide to change all the shelves round it completely throws me!
Or if I go out without my mobile………

C lives by routines, he finds change sooo difficult, and results in head banging. Which is very effective as we all try very hard not to change his routines, but things happen and you have to.
We have to walk down the same sides of the street, he has to walk behind me. He cant cope if I wear sunglasses, or have my hair cut drastically. He cant cope with changing class rooms or bedrooms. When we moved house it was really hard for him. For example, when getting out of bed in the new house, even though he could see the door, he was still going in the same direction of where the door had been in his old room. Took him about a year.
He has to leave boarding school next year. So very big changes all round.


So what changes in routine do you have difficulties with?

33 comments:

Elissa said...

Changes that occur at short notice are really difficult for me (I need plenty of processing time)!
PS Really sorry to hear your news yesterday. xx

her indoors said...

have just read yesterdays post too and am so sorry to hear your news x
i can cope with change not a lot gets to me.
what will C do when he leaves boarding school? i can only imagine how difficult it must be for you and C. and with such a big change on the horizon for C it must be worrying for you x

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

Cahnges I find hard? Going from being in a couple than not. That's freaking difficult. Other than that, I'm quite happy with any changes, I've always bee adaptable. And I'm so sorry to here about your dad. x

Casdok said...

C leaving school is such a big transition, it is very scarey to think about as he finds just going from 1 room to anothr very hard.
I expect i will blog on it at some point!

Thank you all for your kind thoughts.

Niksmom said...

Hmmm, I'd have to say people dropping by unexpectedly or my husband coming home from work/school early. Not that I'm doing anything I shouldn't be! It just throws my whole rhythm off for some reason.

Nik has lately started to recognize certain car routes we take to places. If we deviate or if he thinks we are going one place and we end up at another...UGH, it's not pretty. Same thing with if I pull into the driveway and run into the house for somethig I forgot. Nik expectes to get out of the car and when he doesn't it ends up in a major meltdown. Ditto if Ihave to backtrack down an aisle we've already gone down in the grcoery store.

But Why? said...

I quite enjoy, or at least am mostly unperturbed by, change. Having said that, not being able to get a cup of tea in the morning can leave me a bit frazzled by lunchtime.

xx

BBC said...

I have little daily routines, like emailing, blogging, reading and research, writing, taking care of Helen's needs.

But I can be pretty flexible with them and I'm always seeking new experiences, they give me new insights.

Yeah, it also irks me when they change things at the grocery store. But the clerks where I shop are very helpful, they often even offer to go get what I want, or take me there so I can select what I want.

Let's see, what to do today. Go to the UU Fellowship service for one thing. Then to 'Hippie's' to fix his transmission. Maybe take a nap or two.

Organize my mess better? Ha, ha, ha. Have a great day, hugs.

Maddy said...

Yup they all have the tiny and the huge things that just won't budge an inch, it's like the needle is stuck in the groove of a record, the same, the same, the same, even though I've changed something and the groove isn't there any more.
BEst wishes

Beth said...

I used to believe I wasn't able to cope with change very well at all. I am now dealing with/living with a massive one - and while finding it a challenge, I also find it somewhat liberating. I've discovered a strength within myself I hadn't realized existed. (Or rather, I knew it was there, I just never had to call upon it.)

BenefitScroungingScum said...

I find change quite difficult to cope with, I certainly like routine! What will C do once he leaves school?
BG

Casdok said...

He will be going to a specialst group home. Thankfully a lot closer than where he is now.

Marla Fauchier Baltes said...

Change is hard. I have always been a bit strange in that I really enjoy big changes. For my daughter every change big and small is filled with some drama. My daughter loses her sense of direction a lot too. I remember being upset with her school for letting her go between classrooms on her own. They did not believe me when I told them her skills vary from day to day and she could get lost or take off with anyone. Another reason we home school.

Ian Lidster said...

I find there is a huge difference between intellectually accepting a change, and emotionally accepting the same thing. For the past year my wife's work has taken her to a city 130 miles from our home. Consequently, we have taken a flat there and I, since all I need is a computer, go back and forth between our proper home and the flat. While I fully accepted the fiscal and professional motivation for this situation, hence intellectually accepting it, I also found I underwent months of slight stomach distress and headaches when I spent time at the flat. I came to realize I was not yet 'there' emotionally. It's better now, many months later, but it took me longer than I'd anticipated. Good post.

Jade said...

Most of my clients have very strict routines they prefer to go by. Just to change things up I tweak them slightly so that they're not so completely dependent on the same things all the time. Its uncomfortable for them, but they normally work through it.

As for me..if my times are changed around it messes me up and causes me to feel behind or stressed all day. I like predictable, continuous time slots for my appointments. Since I have at least 8 a day. Hope your day is turning out to be a peaceful one!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Amy is coping very well with a change at school where her regular support worker has gone on part time for five months and another support comes in 3 days a week. She has really grown to like her new support and enjoys spending time with her. We have many little routines in our house which I don't bother about, however, harsh it may sound, but I have refused to let Amy's autism take over our house. She is, as you know, on the higher end of the spectrum and is high functioning but she is autistic all the same. Something we can and never do ever forget.

I, on the other hand, am very spontaneous. I like routines but feel quite content to let things take their course.

Crystal xx

MotherPie said...

Moving has been the hardest for routines... quite disrupting!

Anne Brooke said...

Everything - I hate any change in my routine!!

==:O

A
xxx

Shari said...

Like you, I hate it when the stores move their items around. I like knowing where the items are. But they do this so more people buy more things because as they are looking for the item that was there, other items catch their eye and they buy more. Marketing strategy.

I like to work out in the mornings or I don't get it done. But now that we have a puppy, she has to go outside, and I gotta get the girls up for school, my workout has to wait till after they leave and it can be hard.

Big adjustment for me was not driving. It sucks. Depending on other modes of transportation. It's humbling. I feel like I lost my independence. I feel like a burden to others, my hubby for needing a ride here or there. It's been a year and a half and I am still dealing with it.

Other than that, I can deal with changes. I am a creature of habit, though. I don't mind eating the same food three days in a row (leftover chili soup, salads, etc).

Chris H said...

Small changes are ok, big ones usually throw me for a while! I do love being organised and have routines, most of us do.

Cathy said...

Son 2 has always found major changes easier to cope with than small changes in his environment or routine!

Cx

Mary-LUE said...

Well, I'm very unstructured so I like a change in routine. However, when it comes to my getting ready in the morning, any slight variation in routine can lead to disasterous results. For example, if I don't wash my hair first thing in the shower, I'll often forget to shampoo altogether.

cottontales said...

I am such a creature of habit. My son with Autism, is actually very flexible, although his play is very repetitive. I on the other hand, am the one that has a fit if my favorite cereal is not available in the morning:)

Rhonda said...

I don't particularly like change.
Woodman's (our local grocery store)mixed things up about a month ago.
Putting things in different isles.
Trying to make it more efficient.
I'm still upset. I could have been blind and walked through the store with ease...now I have to re-learn the store!
grrrrrrrrr

oh well, if that's the worse thing I have to deal with, I guess I'll have to get over it.

Preposterous Ponderings said...

From what I have read on your blog it seems as if your son couldn't ask for a better mother.

Being a single mother is a challenge in itself.Add a special needs child and it makes you one heck of a special person.

I wish more mothers were like you!

Eileen said...

My children are teaching me to be pretty adaptable! It is either adapt to the constant changes or go batty, so I am opting for being adaptable. Luckily, my work gives me a lot of practice at that.
I hope C's transition goes smoothly. Are there things you plan on doing to make it easier for him? Has he visited his new group home? It must be so stressful for him (and you). I will be praying for you, with all the upcoming changes coming your way. Again, I am so very sorry about your father.
Have a peaceful night, and thank you for your very caring comments.

Bonnie Arnwine said...

What changes aren't hard???

DJ Kirkby said...

I wouldn't even know where to begin listing mine...

TheBirdman33 said...

I have done 2 things in the bathroom since I was a child, I've done these things for over 20 years easily. They go back to watching too many movies and tv shows as a youth...I always push a bathroom door fully open before I walk in and close it behind me, now just out of habit but initially because this would ensure me that a killer with a huge ass knife wasn't hiding behind it. And under the same premise, I can't not peek behind a shower curtain in a bathroom before I pee, no matter whose bathroom it is.

Very odd, but if I didn't do it now after all these years I would feel really uncomfortable.

Tera said...

I'm a person that likes impulsivity, which can be devastating for my son, who likes routine and structure. By nature, I am a most unstructured, disorganized person, and having to put his needs above my own is what makes craziness for me. But we're all learning to balance our rituals and provide some sense of what we all consider normalcy. I guess that's the give and take in all relationships...but most esp when autism is involved.

Christy said...

I know when the time changes in a couple weeks and we lose an hour...that is going to be VERY rough for me.

MONA said...

I have been browsing your blog & it has made me misty eyed

(((HUGS)))

Dad Stuff said...

Our N1S definitely does better with much structure. He is doing better all the time with change. If he is warned ahead of time of a change, he can better cope. We are lucky that way.
Although, he will always remind you or anyone if they don't do what they say.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

We moved to a new house a few years ago, and it took a year for my son to get used to it. He has a new teacher this week and has been having a difficult time at school. Transitions are just so hard.