Sometimes in life there are things that happen that are beyond our control and have to make adaptations to. For many autistics this isn’t easy to handle sometimes and can bring added stress that if not brought under control can cause one to react adversely, but if we do what is necessary and make the hard adaptations that we need to do in order to get through life it won’t be that bad.
One of the adaptations that I am going to have to make in the coming days is the fact that pedestrian access to my neighborhood to the other parts of the town will be severed temporarily as a bridge accessing my neighborhood will be replaced. While we are not being totally severed from the rest of the world as there is another bridge to access my neighborhood, the other bridge, while newer, lacks the ability to have the proper pedestrian access at the opposing side (a four lane highway) to safely access the rest of my community. Initially, I reacted very adversely when I received this notice, but then I had to realize that I will have to make the necessary accommodations during the closure to replace the bridge.
This means having to be more stocked up on grocery trips and utilizing delivery services and public transportation more as a way to get what I need, have or leave the neighborhood. Thankfully, I still have my parents to help me and I will be able to do many of the things that I need to do, but I will have to plan more accordingly when needing things from the store that I could not otherwise get.
Change is never easy to accept for many, being autistic can make it more difficult to accept and we react to it differently than most of the neurotypical populace. There are times we would like things to be status quo and want to react to things we cannot control. Some autistics do not have the ability to properly regulate their emotions and for me I have come a long way in this area although I do need some minor work to the things that have a deeper root of wanting me to react adversely. I am learning that reacting negatively will only result in a negative outcome to myself and others that just isn’t necessary. Learning to identify necessary coping skills to overcome the changes that we dislike will help improve the way we react instead of responding in a better way than causing a negative reaction that could cause us further harm.
The world we live in today is in no way perfect and in a world where we as autistics can oftentimes see only with a black and white theory (one way or another, there is no in-between) it can be easy to not be open to the changes and be accepting of them. However, in life, one will come across many changes that will be necessary and unfortunately there may even be some that are sudden and come with little notice. Myself being autistic totally understands when a change blocks our path of what we want to do. We often want it not to happen or be coddled so it can have little change, but some changes are necessary and in fact they can be a learning experience along with a segway to working to improve your ability to better accept the changes that come forth.
Just as the way we want to get somewhere becomes blocked, we must learn that in these situations that a detour is necessary, it may mean that we don’t follow the detour as prescribed, but we find a way for it to best work in our favor to meet our needs and not be in danger to ourselves or others.