What is going on? The world has gone crazy! That is probably what every autistic child is feeling right now. Sameness and predictability are very important to them and those are two of the things that have changed drastically over the last week or so. Suddenly they are at home every day and having to complete school work at home. Homework is a big enough battle! Home is home and school is school and the two are never usually mixed!
Our children go to school each day and know what the expectations are. They know that more often than not the timetable for each day will be the same. They know where they will sit and where all of their equipment is. They know how their teacher teaches and how the teaching assistant will help if needed. Lunch and break is always at the same time. That has all changed now.
Being at home without the structure of school but being expected to complete school work in an environment that is usually for relaxing and playing is very confusing. Maybe Mum and Dad and siblings are all trying to work at home as well; maybe they are stressed or worried about the current situation. Confusion, frustration, uncertainty and anxiety are everywhere.
Perhaps what your child is trying to communicate to you is - please help me by providing structure to my day. Tell me what I will do each day. Tell me why I’m doing it. Why do we have to stay at home? Help me express how I am feeling. Most of all please remember that I see the world a little bit differently to you so try and understand my differences and give me lots of love and reassurance.
Jane Pidduck has been working with autistic children and their families for over 20 years supporting the children both socially and academically. She helps families in understanding more about autism and how best to support and communicate with their child. She delivers autism training to families and professionals and is also trained in carrying out the play-based assessment for diagnosis. Jane has been working with Autsera in an autism advisory role since its inception.