In the next part of our Autism A to Z series, I want to talk about transitions and introducing new things. So, that’s why N is for New. This could apply to a new house, a new food, a new article of clothing, etc. Whatever the case may be. I’m going to include a few tips as to what’s worked for us during transitional times and hope that these will work for you as well. Initially, I had thought about having this post be N for Neurotypical but I thought against it. Maybe we’ll get into that another day.
Change can be difficult to handle for almost anyone.
But for an individual with autism, change can be overwhelming and result in great difficulties. Most individuals with autism thrive on consistency and routine in their lives.
Which is why you should capitalize on that when it comes to introducing new things.
For Sweet B, for example, several new things occurred all at once for her. Her baby sister was born, and in the same year, her father and I separated. She went from being the sole center of my attention to having to share that with a crying, noisy infant. Another transition that she had to make was being with her father on the weekends while her weekday was spent here.
So what did we do?
We did as much as we could to keep her routine the same. Bedtime, meals, baths, etc. were all kept the same. Both here and at her grandparent’s house (where her father is staying)- we did as much as we could to ensure that consistency would be in place. Other things that we did were to make sure that we had plenty of familiar stuffed animals for her.
After informing her school, they helped us by creating relevant social stories to assist Sweet B with the changes.
We’ve been fortunate enough that not too many life changes have occurred in her life. And perhaps it was fortunate that both of those changes happened around the same time. It may have been quite a bit to deal with, but at least it wasn’t back to back.
Sweet B has dealt quite well with the few life changes and new things that have happened in her life. We’ve been able to help her with that by keeping routines and maintaining consistency.