WELCOME TO JIM'S AUTISM BLOG
Hi everyone and thanks for visiting our blog. My wife and I created this blog to chronicle our experience while raising a son with Asperger's syndrome. Since our son was diagnosed with an ASD at age 5, we've had a lot of questions. Lucky for us we have a great support network in place. And our blog gives us an opportunity to share what we've learned with our readers. We hope you find our blog informative and interesting. Thanks again for visiting.
"It seems that for success in science and art, a dash of autism is essential." Dr Hans Asperger 1906-1980
Monday, 6 February 2012
DOES ASPERGER'S HATE MONDAYS?
It's Monday morning. Another start to another work/school week. Our son has been diagnosed with Asperger's for a couple years now and it had occurred to us that depending on the day of the week, we could predict fairly accurately, whether or not Jacob would have a productive day at school. It always seemed that Monday's would be the roughest and Friday's would be typically the best day of the week. We know that Monday's can have a feeling of dread as we get back to our busy weekday schedules, but sometimes I enjoy Mondays. And on the other hand, who doesn't love Fridays? It can sometimes feel however, that Jacob's Asperger's has its own schedule. And it knows when Monday is upon us.
Today however, was very different, as is almost every day when raising an Aspie child. This was the first Monday that I can clearly remember in a long time, in which Jacob was excited about going to school. There was no arguing about eating breakfast or getting ready, and we were both laughing and having a good time on the way to school. Usually on Sunday, Jacob will ask "Am I going to school tomorrow?" When we say yes, he usually gets hot at us. But yesterday he didn't even do that. Jacob actually wanted to go to school and see his teachers and friends. I'm not sure when the last time was, that Jacob actually wanted to go to school.
I still have some pessimism though. As I sit here at my CPU, I'm constantly thinking about Jacob and how his day is going. Is he behaving? Is he doing his work? Is he rolling on the floor in the coat room? Him having a good start to his day could just be the calm before the storm. We as parents, seem to have an "always expect the worst" attitude. Which isn't that great, but we're products of our environment. We've seen far too many days where Jacob was happy, then got really upset in school, usually for something small (to us). Jacob has been on a pretty good run at school lately and we're very pleased with his progress. We just hope that his behaviour continues to improve on a constant basis. It's just very important that Jacob's week starts on a positive note.
When I think back to when I was in school, I always hated Mondays. If I had a bad Monday, then my mood was set for the week. And Jacob is no different. If he has a bad Monday in school, then he usually has a bad week all together. That's another way that a reward calendar can be effective.. It's easier to notice patterns in Jacob's behaviour when we track it with a reward calendar. If Jacob doesn't receive a sticker on Monday, then he'll likely have 5 or less stickers for the week. If he has a good Monday and gets stickers, then he'll likely get 7 or more stickers on his calendar for the week. I say likely, but with an ASD anything is possible, right? That's why we really try to make sure that when Monday hits, Jacob has to start his day right on schedule. I don't know about other Aspie children, but Jacob has a very difficult time turning things from bad to good. I think this is because of the emotional intensity that Asperger's brings.
The most important ingredient for a good Monday, is the morning routine must be followed exactly. Jacob has to get up on time, eat his breakfast and get ready for school, too the tee. If there's anything out of place or order, then it's more likely that Jacob will have a bad day at school. Mom and I focus our attention the most on Monday morning. It's almost like hedging your bets. We just try to eliminate as many speed bumps as we can. The smoother the road, the smoother the journey. And this is easiest when we work as a team. During the before school routine, we like to make sure that one of us is always with Jacob. It's only an hour before school, so we take turns letting the other get ready. We also in the mornings before school, put Jacob's puppy Chico in his crate and we don't let him out until after Jacob has left for school. Jacob and Chico can start rough housing when they play and this action can get Jacob pretty wound up. Which is exactly what we don't want before school.
As a parent, I dislike Mondays. I don't remember the exact day when I stopped hating Mondays. But I think it was probably after I finished school and got a job. Mondays didn't seem so bad once I started working on Sundays. I still think that Asperger's hates Mondays though, and Asperger's can be very intense on this particular day. But what can you do about it? Nothing. You just have to be able to see the future. LOL. The honest thing about it is, though Asperger's appears to hate Mondays, I'm sure glad that it loves Fridays.