While being an autistic can have its talents like being organized and ritual, we have to remember that this being autistic is of spectrum manner and as such not everyone operates in the aforementioned manner. We can run in the polar opposite to points where we do not recognize that things are out of place or see “What is Wrong with the Picture?” that Neurotypicals see. This can result in a skewed vision based on how other environments were growing up when you as the autistic were expected to be a square peg in a round hole, of which being a neurotypical standard that could have made daily living in that environment a continual struggle that is an uphill battle.
When we reach independence, the struggle begins with how we are to maintain our environment and what standard to follow. We try to fit what is best to us, however at times we struggle dealing with other adulting necessities such as upkeep with our body, appearance, sleep, making sure we eat etc. that we can sometimes put the needs of establishing a cleaning regimen sometimes until it becomes too late and a necessary interval comes where someone is needed to visit your home. As such, you obsess and fret about how not ready it can be for that person and when that person visits, they may become offended of how the residence looks. Sometimes they can make you feel ashamed of how you live and they can sometimes can project bad thoughts in your mind.
While it is important to have a routine cleaning regimen, it should be made known that all autistics don’t thrive off of routines and some that do may find tasks such as housekeeping as menial and boring. Some know it needs to be done and can recognize the need to tackle a certain project such as cleaning a certain area or room, and they may have to break down tasks within that room and have routine breaks to break up the monotony of performing the enjoy less and menial tasks that many autistics struggle with.
For me, one of the routine tasks I struggle with is the cleaning of the dishes. I have learned that I have needed to break it down by first washing and rinsing them and placing them in the dry sink. Before moving on with drying the dishes and putting them away, I take a 15-20-minute break and stimulate myself by watching my social media stories or posts or a YouTube Video before eventually returning to the kitchen to finish the dish care. It takes me longer than most people, but it gets done and that is the important part.
Still some things that look wrong in the picture take me some time for it to register in my brain the need to remedy that situation. Like doing the dishes, I have accepted that I don’t have to be in a race to complete it and if I have the time to do it, I should focus on it. Sometimes for autistics, neurodivergent conditions such as ADD and or ADHD come in where one may veer off to a special interest or hobby and while that can do it is important to reel back in to the situation at hand and prioritize the care task at hand.
In essence, in the end one must remember the need to housekeep and be cognizant that it imperative to keeping a safe home. Furthermore, those supporting autistics mush be under the realization that the individual must set their own standard and as long as they meet the standard by local code or property regulations, then they should be willing to accept the autistics method. Sometimes reminders may need to be given to autistics, however it must be cone in a clear and calm tone with direct instructions that they can relate to and understand without judgement.
Take pride of Your Home, You’ve Earned It