Like most kids with autism, mine have a tough time transitioning from one task to another, particularly if they're enjoying what they're doing. This has become a particular challenge for screen time (which includes: iPad, Xbox, TV and computer).
Alex is less of an issue because he's always had timed screen time through the day. But I've noticed more tantrums and whining when I tell him that it's time to put it away. Nathan gets so upset that we need to stop screen time 15 minutes before we expect him to do anything else, which can be a challenge if I get distracted or we're running late.
With summer fast approaching, I've had to do some thinking over how I'm going to manage this. I don't want them to spend the summer with their nose in a screen, nor do I want to spend it listening to them demand and tantrum over their screen time.
So I've decided on something fairly radical for this house: regular screen-free time. I've told them that we will not be having screen time until Alex's therapy is done for the day (around 4 pm).
This puts pressure on me as I need to make sure we have activities planned every morning. If I expect them to hang around the house amusing themselves without screen time so that I can get things done, it's not going to happen. They will come to me to demand screens and then tantrum when they don't get it.
In the end, I think it's worth it to try. And if it works, we may have reduced screen time in the fall as well.
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