Autism Awareness: Change

How do you respond to change? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

When I was a small child, I am told I had a large collection of matchbox cars. This I do remember. I would place them all on an end table during the day and leave them there at night. I also remember that. What I don’t remember is being told that if my mother needed to clean the table and moved one of my cars and I knew it, I would be upset until that car was put right back where it belonged.

On the spectrum, we are often highly resistant to change. Once I get locked into a pattern personally, I stick with it. That means that generally I get a shower at the same time and go to bed at the same time and have my meals at the same time.

If I am at a grocery store and I notice that they have changed the layout, I consider this to be bothersome. It’s supposed to be the way that it was before.

Change is a violation of order and I know in my world I tend to really like order. Some minor changes can be acceptable, but a major one is not that easy to accept. That requires work.

However, change is inevitable. If change is coming, sometimes it’s best to go to someone on the spectrum and give them advance warning that the change is coming. If it comes on them suddenly, it can be much harder to address. This doesn’t mean everything will go smoothly, but it does mean it can be easier to navigate.

Getting older, I find it easier to deal with, but there is still an idea in my mind that things must be a certain way. Some of those changes have been good and some of them have been not so good. I have often tried to have things stay at a relative status quo, but sometimes this just doesn’t always happen.

If you meet someone on the spectrum, be aware that sometimes change can be very difficult. You don’t want to do a sudden change, such as a parent changing their bedroom without permission or warning. If it must be done, talk to them first and be prepared to go through it together.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
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