Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide
ASERT has put together some resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current Coronavirus outbreak.
Even though I recently have been writing about how I try to manage time better, this is more about the time that I can’t control. It often happens that I wind up being in situations because there are things that I actually would have wanted to have done at certain times without really knowing it. For example, I find it common that people have places to be, but then there’s the part where some people tend to worry about being at their planned events because the events can be draining whether the people around them are emotionally draining and persistent or relaxed.
In my case, I feel like this is my case most of the time. The reason why I say this is because if it’s something that I am very interested in, which is a lot of things (mainly school, work, group or webinars) then what I will worry about is if I am going to arrive 3-5 minutes late as opposed to recreational activities in state, casual online meetings, then I’ll probably be more worried about when I leave more than I arrive. I am just very mindful of my punctuality in getting around places and at least wanting to try to make it to certain things on time to the best of my ability.
So of course, there are a few ways that I can do when I feel like I am worried about making to things at a certain time, and I think some of the things I have done have helped me to this day. So, I will use my experiences with time from: whiteboard scheduling, my reaction to lateness, and the changes in time during the quarantine.
I.) White Board concept- This was something that I used to do often, intense visual planning was something that I really wanted to get into the gist of when I was in high school. I liked that I could just write down something that I was going to do during a certain range of time and just roll with it. As long as I ended it with the time that I had in mind, bulletin board or white eraser boards were one of the ways that I did this in high school. They were easy to follow as they were publicly displayed so I also could make it back home at a certain time. Also, I would take a picture of it to make sure that that I had it on my phone. At first, being an idea that my mother made to an idea that I wanted form into a habit, my mother told me after my high school graduation that I didn’t have to run through this concept anymore because I was growing into a responsible adult. At first, I was actually really glad that I can do whatever I pleased, but at the same time, I just thought I need some form of organization. So, I found another board that almost replicated that exact concept before and kept it amongst myself. It’s not public to anyone and now I have gotten into making multiple calendars and reminders (via my cellphone and my laptop). As of now, I don’t really follow that much of writing on a whiteboard as much as I would in setting reminders on my digital calendar because it makes noise when it goes off. I do miss the idea of being active on what to do whenever I need to add something at a certain time (as in physically writing things in) but I think my new comfort without the use of the whiteboard has been an easy transition and has made life a little easier, but I still have the feeling of worry from how I have my plans set into things.
II.) Reaction to lateness- As I mentioned in the beginning, I do have feelings of worry when I am heading somewhere that I may assume is urgent and needs me there at a certain time. Like when I was middle school and high school, I would often prefer rushing to get to places and overreact very loudly if I wouldn’t make it school on time. Sometimes I wouldn’t even know that I would forget something because the only thing I cared about was getting on time, so even if I looked bad, at least I would make it to my designated spot on time. This even went on as an adult. So, my mother and I had to discuss the book “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” during a presentation and I just wanted to be there on time. But my mother realized that my facial appearance wasn’t the best, so I had to wash it over and over again. When I was finished, she still wasn’t okay with how I looked. Instead of going through a breakdown, I just went with it and calmed myself down. Yes, I did worry about making it to the event on time but also I got into the habit of learning my audiences and even self-presentation. That takes up a LOT of time, and it’s going to take time to learn to do it by myself. I personally must get better with preparation, it is something that I have been working on and I have gotten better. As for anything that involves going with other people, since I don’t drive or anything, I have to respect everyone in that setting and kindly remind them that I do have to get to places at certain times.
III.) Changes of Activity due to quarantine- Now with the fact that we have spent quite some time in our houses, I feel as though my sleep schedule is messed as well as my desire to make it certain important online meetings, or anything that involves working on the computer. However, I think I still have the same exact reactions; rushing to get on to start working, by setting up my computer, laptop, etc. so I can have a decent internet connection to get to the meeting at least. However, this still doesn’t mean that I’ll overreact if I think I am a couple of minutes late to getting work, online meeting, etc. St I am currently working as a CAPS, online at the moment, I think the same would apply even though I can set up my laptop and everything in a number of seconds. HOWEVER, the fact that there are constant system malfunctions setting up my laptop or getting close to the router for better internet connection can be one of the few reasons why my working pattern can be thrown off. Despite the fact that it can sometimes be worrisome to me to have everything working well so I can get in the motion to work, the fact that it can take up so much time can be the reason why I rush and either: have to restart the router, flick on the circuit breaker, or have to charge my laptop. Either way, it’s almost like if I do let my co-workers know what’s up (because in times like this, everyone is having their own battles with using wi-fi connections), then everything is good!
As the layout of how everything is set for my job, I don’t get the need to overreact or rush because I don’t find that it is necessary with proper preparation. As for online work, I intend to not worry as much because technical difficulties will always be an issue for someone who regularly uses a computer. So even during these times of quarantine, stay safe and don’t go too insane with your plans.