While we, and the world in which we live, is always changing our Asperger child struggles with this uncertainty. How do we, as the parent help buffer the certainty of change with the challenge it brings to those living on the spectrum? This is a good question that affects many families, and poses discussion!
Though we cannot control the world nor the small corner in which we live, we can somewhat control the space in which we call home.
If noisy chatty relatives come to visit your child should always have a ‘safe zone’ which typically would be their bedroom. If the chatty relative wants to laugh loudly, your autistic child should be able to go to their room and close their door without feeling badly. After all, this is their home and the one place that should feel safe.
This has been a difficult topic for our family over the years and in one case, the relative is quite uncomfortable around our son and chooses to stay away. However, we find most all understand the situation and are thrilled to comply with softer voices when visiting.
This provides comfort for the high-functioning person to have a place that will not be changed unless they do so. So keep in mind not to rearrange furniture or clean extensively unless it’s a partnership and they have time to adjust.
I can see comfort and relief in our son’s demeanor when school or work becomes harried and he can come to a place that remains the way he left it. This is a pattern that hopefully will carry him far after he’s left home. He knows and expects that school, work, traffic, and anything outside the home may throw curveballs and change at a moment’s notice, but the refuge and consistency of his ‘space’ is essential and those that visit our home are aware of this priority. Consistency is comfort!
by Jennifer Allen