A Photo looking up at the flags of the French and Indian War in 2022 from the local park
Adulting, Independence

Adulting: Prioritizing Tasks and Routine

As we approach Independence Day in the United States and not only be thankful for the freedoms to be an independent country, we also sometimes as autistic individuals are held captive on the routines that we thrive on and cannot many times see completing things other than the ways we have known.

In recent months, I have pretty much had the same routine as an autistic self-advocate. However, at times the time that I wake up can be delayed significantly to the point that I must either shift the order I do things so that they are displayed properly or that somethings need to take a back seat until I can dedicate more time to them. I also get angry about losing time to sleep without realizing that sometimes the extra sleep, when able to be accomplished, is a necessity for me to be well, and shouldn’t result in anger because my body is in  need of such activity.

It can be hard for an autistic person to see beyond the way that they want to do something and it can particularly anger them when their window to do the things that they thrive doing is shortened. It can be easy to place the blame on others for that happening, although the mentioned party may be unaware or totally not at fault for what is occurring but are part of being guilty by association. Many times, we are in such a thought to need to get done that we can easily point the finger at those that we think delay us but in reality it can be just as the way things goes and isn’t exactly their fault, it is just that they are an easy target for us many times because the simplest of actions trigger our thoughts into blaming them for whatever minor inconveniences have resulted in the execution of completing the tasks of our routine.

This can also play into the workforce as well in striving to remain self-sufficient in the role of your work and knowing how to prioritize the things you must do in the course of a day. While we may not as autistics be able to see the need to prioritize things rather than go back and forth on the tasks that are assigned to us, it is imperative for us to be aware of the need to be aware of the demands handed to us and their urgency so that others dependent on the outcomes of our work can depend on the quality outcomes that they are used to. It is also important to take your time and not be in a rush so that there are not any mistakes that occur in the process, which can further delay it from being completed on your end.

Yes, autistics thrive off of routines and are many times the foundation that our day is set on. However, life happens and it becomes necessary for things to be sometimes modified in an order that makes more sense for all that is involved in your work. While this can be hard to accept for many autistics, it has in recent years become the norm and teaches autistics the ability to adapt to things that are beyond their control and must be properly modified. By incorporating small changes as possible to ones’ routine, overall common changes will not be as bad as they would as if they are done at a moments’ notice. Sometimes things just have to happen in life and cannot be easily changed to properly affect the autistic mind, so making those smaller transitions will aid when the ones that are difficult to modify down the road won’t be as challenging to navigate. We are all human, it is just that for the neurodiverse, including autistics, our brains operate and see things differently than our neurotypical peers and this must be understood first and foremost.

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