As I reflect on daily life for our son, I realize that he has a lot going on in his brain at any given time.
From the moment he awakens, until the moment when his eyes finally close, there is always “noise” in his brain.
The average person has a lot going on all the time as well. As adults, we are better equipped to regulate these things, prioritize them in our heads and skip over the “not so important stuff” to move onto the next things.
From some children and teens, it’s easy for them to focus on one thing at a time and even if they have a lot going on, they are able to handle it. I think that’s why a lot of teenagers can talk to their friends for hours or play video games for long periods of time.
For some, this is almost impossible. Especially if you throw autism into the mix.
I know just by looking at our son, when you can engage him and when you just need to leave him for a bit so that his brain can process some of the “stuff” that it needs to. I have found and failed many times when trying to teach him or have him complete his homework when he is not in the “learning space” to do it. It’s just a waste of time.
I don’t know that for kids on the spectrum if the “stuff” ever goes away but I do know that by creating a relaxed environment with relative calmness that the brain can be slowed down and allow for time for focus and processing.
New information can only go in when the brain is ready to receive it, no matter what kind of schedule we are on.
I have very painfully learned that if our son is not able to slow his brain and is not ready to receive new information that any homework that day just isn’t going to happen. And I have accepted the fact that is totally fine!
I know that when his brain is ready and open, there is so many new things he can take in at lightning sped and that is truly a remarkable thing for someone with autism.
We just need to remember to slow down!