Owen knows exactly what he wants to do and exactly when he wants to do it. He also wants to discuss it constantly. Each day has a special meaning to Owen and he wants to make sure his schedule is exactly as he thinks it should be. Routine means everything to him. This is one of those things that I have to stop the train, but I don’t even know what station the train has pulled into and how it got there. When I pick him up from school his immediate response as soon as he sees me is “I have to go to sleep first and then”. He wants me to tell him his schedule for the next day and the next day after that and the next day after that. I go back and forth on how to handle it. Some days I answer his question the hundred times in a row he asks me, other times I try to distract him, and now I’ve put together a calendar for him to know his schedule. There’s a right answer here somewhere, but I don’t think I’ve figured it out yet. The more I ignore or try to distract him from the question, any questions, the more he asks the question. I try to ignore it, I try to move forward from it, and then my response comes out automatically. After a while you want calm and the words tumble out before I can even think about remaining silent. I can see behavioral changes in him when his schedule does not go according to plan. Adding a holiday during the week or a day off for any other reason throes Owen completely off. The release of his energy may not even come on the day that he has a holiday, but at a moment in time later when he can process it. For today I’m trying the calendar route with him. Hoping he can make the connection with it and this will make it easier for him as he grows. For the love of Owen, I’m growing and learning too. Autism is as much about how I handle it as it is about him having it. Know that you are a lot stronger than you think you are. Make today matter. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I'm Lynn Browder. Owen's Mommy. The best moments in time are when I get to see the smile on his face and that giggle come from his heart.