Plans change. Recently, ours changed significantly: Our son was diagnosed with autism.
His doctor recommended full-time Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy. We agreed, and decided to pull our son from his Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD).
It was an easy decision. He’s been going to school for 2 years, and we have seen significant improvements, but we’re always up for trying something new.
But new routines and changes in plans require a whole lot of thought.
I’m a routine kind of guy. I like predictability. I like stability. I like to know what to expect. And I’ll be honest, I’m really nervous about this new routine. When our son was at school, we knew what to expect. We had a routine. We knew how he would get there and what he would do. We knew who would change him, feed him, and what the day looked like.
As I was emailing with our new therapy facility, it struck me: Of course they were going to change him if he needed it. But the fact that we hadn't had a conversation about that worried the dickens out of me. Again, it’s routine stuff. But routine stuff includes having that conversation.
I think as parents of children with disabilities we look for any level of stability we can. Our path is unknown. Predictability in any form is both valued and needed for our own sanity. So more than anything, those conversations are more for me than our son. They help ease my mind. They get me back into the mindset that there is a reliable routine in place. And no matter how different and stressful it might be, at least I know what to expect.
So wish us luck, friends. We’re about to embark on a whole new journey in hopes of doing more to unleash our son.
Many parents have shared their family experience and thoughts about routines. Search our parent blog by using the term "routines."
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs to share their tips and stories about caring for their children during difficult times.