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.
Is it possible for an aspie to break their day-to-day routine successfully? Yes. This summer I took a trip up to Stowe, Vermont. It was the first time that I’d been up there, but that wasn’t the most significant part of the trip. The most significant part of the trip was that I was in close confines with my parents and two old family friends for a week. I had no Xbox to entertain or distract me and no routine to keep me on track.
In all honesty the lack of my Xbox wasn’t all that important to me. We were hiking in the surrounding mountains for most of the day nearly every day and the cabin we were staying in had WiFi. I used my iPad as a substitute for my Xbox by watching videos on YouTube and reading. I also took my bow and a target with me to practice archery during the days that we didn’t hike.
The lack of routine, while a shock to my daily habits, did allow me to do several new things. For one, I had to accept things as they came. I went along with what my parents and our friends were doing and tried to find something entertaining or interesting during each new experience. One day we drove around Lake Champlain for about half a day with spotty cell service. On a different day we hiked to the peak of a mountain about a thousand feet above the valley on a fairly warm day with a limited amount of water. We also spent part of a day hiking on a private property where I was able to cut a branch from a fallen tree to carve a nice walking stick.
Unfortunately the lack of routine did cause me to forget to take some medication that helps regulate my mood, making me more irritable later in the week. The main reason why I forgot to take my medication was that I always take it with my morning coffee, but most days we went to a cafe for breakfast and I wasn’t able to take my medication with me because we would go hiking immediately after breakfast. I could tell as the week went on that I was becoming more short-tempered from the lack of medication. I should’ve told my parents that I was missing doses, but for some reason it never occurred to me to tell my parents. I should’ve told them so that they could adjust our schedule to accommodate me.
The biggest take away from my trip is that I can be pushed out of my comfort zone without disastrous consequences. We can all learn to accept our circumstances and try to find something interesting or entertaining to replace routine activities. Most importantly, keep the lines of communication open with your support system when you’re trying something new.