I went to pick the boys up from school yesterday. Actually, Lizze and I both went to pick the boys up from school yesterday. We got there a little bit before 3pm, which is dismissal.
As my long time readers may recall, I typically get to the school about an hour early, park in the shade and write.
This makes me first in line to retrieve my kids. The boys will usually see me there during their hour of school and feel better kowing that I’m there to get them.
Yesterday, I walked into the school rather than wait in line forever.
When I walked into the school, it was a little before 3pm and I caught Elliott walking out of the office and Emmett in somewhat of a panic at the end of the hall.
The boys assumed that because I wasn’t first in line, that I must have forgot to pick them up. For the record, I’ve never forgotten to pick them up from school.
Elliott had been in the office, panicking because I wasn’t where he thought I should be at that moment in time.
I called to Elliott, who turned around and felt immediately relieved to see me. Emmett was the same way. I was grilled as to why I wasn’t where I usually was. I explained that I was still here on time to get them and I’ve never forgotten to get them from school.
They were relieved but upset and told me to make sure I’m back where they’re used to me being the next day.
Today was the next day and so I made sure to be there like I usually am. I sat in the car and wrote for about an hour. There was a relief on the kids faces to find me where I’m supposed to be.
Routine is so important to my kids and kids on the Autism Spectrum in general. Even though I was still there to get them on time, I had deviated from the norm and caused them a great deal of distress.
The office told me that they had to reassure Elliott that I hadn’t forgotten them and that sometimes I just can be where they expect me to be, when they expect me to be there. Apparently, I just need to be where they expect me to be because otherwise, it really freaks them out.