We always want our children to be on a certain schedule and do things at a certain time. Eating, sleeping, homework, extra-curricular activities, going shopping. There’s always something.
I’m not trying to minimize schedules because they are important for everyone. They help keep us focused. Especially for children with autism – a schedule is a life-saver as it allows them to know what to expect so that they do not have high anxiety.
Have you ever thought or tried an experiment (probably best done on a weekend or holiday) where you go by your child’s agenda? You take their lead and see where the day takes you?
If you haven’t done this, I encourage you to try it out sometime. You may be surprised by what you find out. I’m not saying this will be all good for you or all bad for you. It may be a little bit of both.
I tried this out in the summer. I just blocked off some time and did what my son wanted to do. Not what I wanted. At times, he wanted to do some things with me and at times he wanted to be alone. Then there was also some time where we just laid in the sun together in total silence with our feet touching. It was heavenly and it is one of the happiest moments with him I can ever remember!
So try throwing out the schedule once in a while and see what happens!