And people with autism are naturally drawn to routines. In fact, because they are rewarding, they are motivated to repeat them.
Writing in Autism Speaks, Matthew, a father of two, recounts about the day he and his son were late for school. The occasion was gift-wrapped for a meltdown, but because of a well-established routine this happened:
Everyday we do the same thing, and in doing the same thing we lay down patterns of expectations that make the world feel comfortable and manageable. Of course, because this morning we were running late I could feel myself getting stressed and a bit frantic, but I quickly decided to just go with the flow. And do you know what? Liam’s routine made me feel better. We said hello to the fish, we went into the gym, we put our things away, and we walked back to the classroom. Ahhh. To top it all off, I got to watch Liam march proudly into his classroom, wave to his teacher, and sit in his seat ready for circle time.
I still have so much to learn from this kid.
So do we all.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew Koster is the owner of Perfect Day Special Needs Store, where you can find many resources for sequencing, and responsibility charts for reinforcing. www.perfectdaystore.com