Managing Elizabeth’s Adult Schedule: Working on Enjoying Downtime

As many of us know, very rarely do our children with special needs stay on a plateau, an even keel or simply the same spot for long. There are always changes, adjustments or surprises that leave us sometime shaking our heads and wondering just how did this happened?

And I am the last one lately…

I am not sure when it happened.

I’m not sure how it happened

But waiting for something has become a real struggle for Elizabeth?  This never used to bother her before.  But it does now!

Elizabeth now has quite a busy schedule.  Really, it is better than most people have.  Which is great because she’s 26  and typical 26-year-olds have busy schedules.  But where the difference is for us is that most neurotypical 26-year-olds are comfortable with waiting and also know how to anticipate time and wait better for what comes next.

We have noticed that any voids between activity A and activity B are very difficult for Elizabeth at this point.
You can almost see that her system doesn’t allow complete relaxation. I know that this is directly related to her Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and her global dyspraxia.   When there is a time to wait, she knows, she’s going to be transitioning to something soon and is working on just what that looks like for her motor planning as well as what that next thing might challenge for her.  

But one of the problems is that she doesn’t know or cannot gauge the ever ethereal concept of time. Time for those with special needs can just seem/feel like a void , so teaching her to use her timers or to better fill the time with choices for activities is something we are working on. But it is challenging to her. 

Trust me, I know that all that we are doing is a nice way to grow into an adult schedule. But it is also work for her and again more work to break it down into manageable steps that need repeating, adjusting and repeating until she’s able to manage timers or choices on her own.  We also want her to enjoy her downtime as opposed to considering it anxious waiting time
This is a big TDB (To Be Determined) as to how this goes. 

We have been about 3 weeks in having seen nervousness.

And about 2 weeks in to the supports we put into place.

I will keep everyone posted on an update..

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes in Herself

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