We’ve all been there, I’m pretty sure. An arrangement collapses, someone doesn’t show up on schedule, a speaker cancels… Something unexpected happens.
If one is prepared with a Plan B, the unexpected derailment of a plan is a blip. An inconvenience, not a ruination of an event or a day or a project. Just something that needs to be worked around to achieve success.
Raising a child on the Autism Spectrum almost requires a series of Plan B options that the child is aware of and comfortable with, just to get through the day.
Take this morning, for example. Please. 🙂
I woke my son up at the usual time. He was happy. I reminded him of the morning routine, and he nodded in a sleepy manner as I left his “area.” (He doesn’t use the word “room” at home. It’s a school word.)
When it came time for his second wake-up, he was grouchy. Bump #1. Hey, it was his own fault. We had the usual breakfast arrangement and meds-in-applesauce, but for some reason, he just couldn’t do the meds this morning. On the first try. This was a bump in our harmonious road. Bump #2. I had to toss the meds and start over with new plates and spoons and so forth.
And a mini-reminder about how he wanted to have a successful day (something he expressed during our family worship time the day before) so he needed to be thinking good thoughts, not grumpy thoughts.
Well…yeah. Until he found out that this toothpaste wasn’t available. He had used the last of it. (We each have different toothpastes in this house – just…don’t ask. lol) Like the responsible boy he is, he went to our supply area (we have one) but his toothpaste was still in bulk wrapping and he couldn’t get it out.
At this point, looking at his unhappy, frustrated face and the set to his jaw, I knew that we needed a back-up plan. He needed a few more minutes than was on the schedule to bring himself back to a happier place. He could do it, if he had time.
So… “We’ll drive today, instead of walking and taking the bus,” I told him. “You have some extra time.”
“What time?” I told him. Then he nodded, looked at his toothpaste, and went to the “drive schedule” in his head before announcing when he would brush his teeth and get dressed.
Because we have a practiced schedule for driving to school, too.
Right now, Medium-Sized Guy has been given a four-minute warning. This just preps his brain for the transition from what he’s doing now to what he will need to do to get out of the house for school.
Hopefully, this Plan B will enable him to reset his grumpiness and have a better day at school. I guess I can get my exercise later. Or maybe I’ll stay home and lift weights.
I have a Plan B, too. 🙂