Saturday, 29 December 2012

Back to Routine

We're starting to stare back down the barrel of a return to school and routine.  (8 days ... not that I'm counting them down or anything.)

Kids with autism crave routine.  It's a fact which barely needs to be stated.  Having gotten into the holiday routine, we've discovered that the return to school can come as a real shock to them.  It can lead to all sorts of behavioural challenges.  However, I don't like the idea of trying to turn the whole vacation into a facsimile of their regular school routine.  Everyone needs a holiday, even if they don't like change.

The past few years, we've had a little compromise.  Usually there is at least a week between Christmas and the return to school.  So for that week, we have Alex's tutor come in for an hour to an hour and a half each morning.  Just to get him back into the routine of seat work and thinking academically.  She doesn't work on anything too strenous, lots of math games (which he loves) and some craft stuff. 

This year, she'll be coming for the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, which should be enough to get him back in the swing of things.  The boys will have their traditional New Year's sleepover at their grandparents' (while we go play board games with our friends ... yep, we're all geeks and loving it!) and then they can get back into a light schedule.  I'll do some work with Nathan while Alex works with his tutor. 

We've also got our aide coming in to give me a hand so that we can go out and do fun stuff in the afternoon.  It makes the days full, which also helps with getting them back on a whole school day schedule, but keeps it holiday-fun.

I don't know if other parents have to think about this stuff but as an autism parent, it's mandatory for a smooth-ish transition.  It doesn't have to be an all-out routine but if you can find a compromise, it'll make life a lot easier for you and them.

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