Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Alyssa Loves Routines Too

Reprint from Yes, That Too

From thAutcast, because his questions make good post fodder.
Routines are import to many autistic people. How do routines help you (or an autistic person you know well)? I am especially interested in stories about what happens when routines are disrupted.
And now I answer.
I like my routines. I remember them pretty well, too, as long as they are the same and they are repeating. I memorized my schedule very quickly in middle and high school, and every time they changed the order of the periods on me, I was confused and often went to the wrong class. By often, I mean almost every time. Disrupt a routine that is already extant, and I get pretty confused. 
And I form routines pretty easily. I can't let myself skip class once, because it will become a routine and then I'll never go. Not exactly a good routine. So I need to be careful.
If I know with enough warning that disruption is coming? Or if I knew that there wasn't going to be a routine? Or if I knew that there was going to be a semi-permanent change in routine, like the transition from semester to summer?
I'm fine with that. 
I might not choose to do it all that often, but give me a good enough reason and I will.
Without a reason to do otherwise, though, I'll do the same thing, day after day or week after week. It's always the same, day after day... Same enough that I don't need to think too much about it, anyways. That's the point of a routine, and it lets me do ALL THE THINGS.
No, really.
My senior year of high school, my routine for Thursday was: 5:00am wake up, get ready for school, 6:15am leave house on bike, 6:25am arrive at school, 6:30am "Independent Study" in East Asian Philosophy (there were 12 of us...) 7:30 my first "real" class starts, 1:50 school ends, then I think it was math team, then homework, then eat dinner on the bus to swim team, then swim, then bus back, then ride bike back. I'd get home at around 7:30pm, eat, shower, sleep. 
And I managed it.
Except that time that swim was cancelled and I was really confused and didn't know what to do with the rest of the day.
Or that time last week when my Chinese teacher thought that changing up my tutoring schedule was a good idea. Yeah, multiple meltdowns, thankfully none in front of her because she doesn't know I'm Autistic. I'd been meeting for the same two hour session all semester, and then she decided that it needed to be twice a week, not one long session. We'd been doing it as one long session because that was the only way to make our schedules work, but noooooo. We had to break the routine and try to find a non-existent other time, and it's been chaotic ever since and I've melted down and it's bad.

1 comment:

  1. I get exactly nothing done without routines. My daughter cannot get on a routine sleep schedule, so I get nothing done ever. Great frustration abounds and so does great mess :)