Something that often falls victim to the holidays, aside from Mom and Dad’s sanity, is routine. Kids with Autism thrive on a regular routine because it helps to make life predictable and makes them feel safer.
As an example, my kids typically go to bed around 7pm because it sometimes takes them awhile to fall asleep.
This is their routine and they need it because it works for them and it works for my family. However, when the holidays roll around, visits with family, guests coming over or simply being out of school, can disrupt this routine. When this happens, sometimes my kids can cope and other times, all hell can break loose.
When routine is disrupted, we can experience some of the same things we do when the kids are overstimulated. We’ll usually see more frequent meltdowns, difficulty falling asleep, inability to stay asleep, lower threshold for frustration, easily irritable and in the case of my youngest, he won’t wear clothes (it’s a sensory thing). O_o
This can make life really challenging because getting the kids into a routine in the first place, isn’t always easy and it can take a good chunk of time.
If we’re lucky, a few days of ensuring their routine is put back in place and they will slide right back into it. If we’re not lucky, we’ll have to work at it for a little while or perhaps modify it, so that it will work again.
This is just one of the many different things that a special needs parent is concerned about when they decide that something may not be good for their child with Autism.
Generally speaking, I try to keep everything in our lives as consistent as humanly possible, because my kids do so much better that way. My wife and I will go to exhaustive lengths to ensure that we avoid disrupting their routines whenever possible. We know that if a routine is disrupted, not only could we lose the progress that was made, but life very likely won’t be fun for the kids or for us.
This post is meant to provide you with a little more insight into what life is like for a special needs family.
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