Dear friends and family,
Sometimes I ignore your texts and phone calls. I’m sorry.
I actually do it on purpose.
It’s the truth and it’s necessary.
So far in this blog I have used a version of the word schedule 63 times. It’s OBVIOUSLY a theme.
Along with schedules? Transitions…the space between in our very important schedule.
When I ignore you – we are in the space between.
What is so difficult about transition times? Two things that are intricately related. Getting out of focus and attending to something new.
Getting out of focus.
My mom noticed that there was something ‘different’ about Tucker when he was four. She said, “I know he doesn’t have ADD/ADHD. When he gets into something he’ll do it for hours if I let him. Books, puzzles, or his Thomas trains…but there is something odd.” I had known for some time – but it was actually nice to have a confirmation from someone I loved that something was ‘different’ not bad – just different.
It is just damn difficult to get him to focus on something other than what he is focused on. This makes life increasingly difficult – but I try to remember that this intense focus will make him an AMAZING worker someday. Give him a task – he will have an intent focus until he finishes the task.
An example? When he assigned to clean his room once a week, he completes the task in 30 minutes – and he doesn’t cut corners. His 30 minute cleaning – includes vacuuming, dusting, taking laundry to the laundry room, picking up/putting away, and making his bed. His focus is extreme. There is difficulty in getting him out of focus before HE is finished with HIS task.
Once we get him out of focus we face the second difficulty, the trouble with new. He is not a fan of anything new. This includes a new activity – a transition to something else is inherently a transition to something new. Whether it is actually ‘new’ to him or not – it’s a change.
So, what are transition times? Besides the more obvious transitions (between activities) here are others…
Moving from the house to the vehicle to go anywhere.
Moving from the vehicle to a destination.
Before a meal.
After a meal.
Inside to outside.
Outside to inside.
All of those moments take extra care and work. So – if you call/text during these times, I will ignore. During these times we have to go slow and be thoughtful about what is happening. Why? It’s about managing the space between – getting him out of focus, transitioning to something new, and helping him find a new focus.
- The morning sets the tone for the day – if the morning doesn’t go well his day is usually ‘ruined.’
- The after school time sets the tone for the evening – so if the pick up doesn’t go well, he will hide in his room the rest of the evening.
- Bedtime sets the tone for the next day – if bedtime doesn’t go well and he will be tired. If there is one thing all parents of ASD children know…it’s how important sleep is.
So, if I ignore your call/text during the space between; please understand that these are major transition times in our house. As most mothers, I want his life to be calm and peaceful, I want him to have success – so it is of utmost importance that his needs come first in these moments.
The moments between.