Day to day routines can be stressful, a routine is, by definition a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program. Routines are performed as part of a regular procedure rather than for a special reason.
Everyone has them; they are a part of everyday life. Morning routines, school/work routines, and bedtime routines. Many children with autism thrive on predictability and structure. Routines give children a sense of security. When establishing a routine, consistency within the routine is key to its success.
Establishing a new routine isn’t always easy; it’s often difficult, the work you put in while establishing the routine will pay off in the end.
Here is an example of what morning routine looks like for my children.
- Get Dressed
- Put pajamas away
- Eat breakfast
- Brush Teeth
- Pack Backpack
- Get in Car
It is important to be consistent in the teaching and maintenance of your routine. It’s predictable, reliable, and repeatable. No matter what sequence of steps have been decided on, it is crucial that all steps of the routine are followed. Provide positive reinforcement along the way. When a step is completed, praise your child. Celebrate all successes, no matter how large or small!