The ongoing impacts of the pandemic are being felt by children with ASD and their families all over the globe. In particular, the disruptions to routines have caused significant stress which may be shown through an increase in certain behaviours. Maintaining a daily routine while at home may help to reduce this stress and the associated behaviours.
Why is routine so important?
Routine and consistency are important for every child’s development, but particularly for those with ASD. Creating a consistent routine allows for predictability which can help a child feel safe in their environment and can help to reinforce positive behaviour patterns. Given the current uncertainty we are all facing, creating a level of certainty within the home may be beneficial for both you and your child.
What are some examples of a routine?
- Waking up at the same time every morning
- Brushing your teeth morning and night
- Making your bed
- Feeding the pets
- Completing schoolwork
- Eating at set mealtimes
- Playing outdoors
- Going for a walk or getting some exercise
What are some things to incorporate into the routine to make life a bit easier at home?
One simple activity to include in your routine is spending some time outdoors. During the lockdown, we are all spending a lot more time at home than we might usually. Creating a circuit breaker and getting outside may help to reduce stress and boredom. Fun activities that can be done outdoors include an obstacle course, yoga, a scavenger hunt, or a simple fun survey. Some templates are shown on the following pages and can be changed to suit what you have available at home!