With the lazy days of summer coming to a close, our days become more structured. The school day starts and ends and fall sports, playgroups, and parent organizations start back up. Most autistic children thrive on structure and to maintain structure and keep balance in your life, you need to be organized.
Think visually relative to your child’s needs, strengths and weaknesses as you begin to look around and re-organize your home.
Pick up some bins at the local department store either in plastic or fabric. TheyAlleviate Autism come in an assortment of colors and have a range of sizes and shapes. They will keep your play area organized. Attach (Velcro works best) pictures of each item, i.e., cars, blocks, stuffed animals, etc. and stick them to the front of each bin for easy identification.
Again, using bins or baskets, place them in the closet or on a shelf that your child can reach. Identify each bin with a picture, i.e., socks, shirts, shorts, etc. This will allow your child to dress himself each day or at a minimum help you pick out their clothes the night before for the next day. Do the same with pj’s, favorite books, and blankets.
Keep one drawer in the kitchen for your child’s items. In the drawer have an apron with his/her name on it and a photo of them helping you in the kitchen; a package of wet naps so they can easily clean themselves up or wipe their hands if the textures you are cooking with are offensive to your child; keep visuals at child’s level, i.e., “hot – red – flame” picture for area around stove/oven; dishes for dishwasher or sink; and utensils your child can use and assist you with. Keep a stepping stool in the kitchen as well as the bathroom.
For each activity you or your child belongs, keep a binder. If your child attends school or is in a daycare or preschool, make a binder entitled education. Keep all papers relative to his education in the binder. This allows you to put in papers each night your child receives them and review them later that day or the next morning and there is less chance of losing anything. If your child plays sports, takes drama or attends CCD, make a binder entitled activities and place all correspondence relative to those activities in the binder. Do the same for your own activities and the rest of the members of your family.
Keep a two month dry erase calendar by the door you exit everyday in the house. You can color code certain days by using dry erase board stickers. If your child takes dance – take a picture of them dancing or a picture depicting dancing and Alleviate Autism Tipspost it below the calendar. Next to the picture post the color dot that goes with dance and then place that color dot on everyday your child has dance over the next two months. Your child will learn to associate the color of the dot with the picture to make transitions much smoother.
These tips will help organize your child and your home, alleviating stressful situations. Share your tips with us and post what has worked for you.