Tuesday 29 October 2013

Talk, Talk, Talk ... Why Communication Isn't Just For Oprah

Last week, we had a communication failure.  Due to my complete inability to clone myself, I have to have someone at the house to pick up Alex at the same time I'm at Nathan's school picking him up.  On Friday, my pickup person had switched with someone else and didn't tell me.

On the surface, this may not seem like an actual problem.  As long as someone is there, then everything should be good, right?  There are two problems with that particular theory.

First, Alex has a hard time with unexpected changes.  Since we have four pickup people, I put a picture of the person on his schedule.  Then he knows who to expect and generally does better.  We're less likely to have a problem getting him out of the van or of him refusing to go inside because he's upset over having his expectations dashed.

Second, it means I'm focused on the wrong person and if something goes wrong, I don't know who to contact.  This is what happened last week.  As the time crept by, my pickup person didn't show.  I tried calling and couldn't reach them.  So I ended up having to call Alex's transport and ask them to wait for me while I picked up Nathan. 

The van driver was fine with waiting and they didn't have to wait for very long, but it was a disruption in routine.  One which could potentially affect three other children with autism.  I have no idea what their tolerance for routine change is and thus I worry that this might have set up some bad evenings for other families.

I've had several people dismiss my requests to be kept informed as an artifact of my inner control freak nature.  They may have a point, but so do I.  It is not unreasonable to ask to be kept informed of minor changes when those changes could potentially have a huge outcome.

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