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

Thursday, 5 April 2012


It's been a rough week for Jacob at school.  His behaviour has been off since he was sick a few weeks ago.  The time away plus the March break almost totally derailed his desire to attend school.  So it's been an interesting few weeks.  This week Jacob has earned:


The picture isn't how Jacob looks when he goes to school, it's just that sometimes that's how he feels.  This week Jacob was below  the 50%  mark for the first time in I don't know how long.  It could be related to a number of outside factors including;

1)  My work season has started up and I had to work on Tuesday and Wednesday.

2)  I'm not there to keep Jacob on schedule during his before school routine when I'm working.

3)  Only mom has been taking Jacob too and picking him up from school, which is different to him.

Since I've been working, (and yes, 2 days a week is working) Jacob's been taking direction solely from mom.  Not that Shannon isn't great with helping Jacob and keeping him focused, it's just that mom isn't as strict as I am.  Then when you consider that I have the winter months off and I usually take Jacob to school everyday.  So when I'm not there to say goodbye in the mornings, you can see the potential for a rocky road. 

It's vital for a child that has Asperger's to have a good routine.  And I have a rock solid routine when it comes to Jacob's school day.  Over the years, I've developed a system that allows Jacob to have a structured, yet relaxed schedule, which is beneficial when you have a child with Asperger's.  He might not say it, but I know Jacob enjoys the order of a daily routine, because chaos only creates chaos.  And when things are chaotic, Jacob is more likely to have outbursts and meltdowns.

While I'm a little more strict, Shannon is the total opposite.  She allows Jacob to progress at his own pace, which is great sometimes, but it's not great when trying to get Jacob to school on time.  I usually call Jacob upstairs to begin getting dressed at 8:10, so at 8:00, I'll ask Jacob if he's done eating.  And if he's not, I'll tell him that he only has a few minutes left to finish up.  Shannon will let him eat at his own pace without any redirection.  I understand why she does it, she wants Jacob to eat breakfast, which is very important. but it can put his whole day off.

There are however a few things that can occur which will completely ruin Jacob's day.  The worst thing that can happen is if the school bell rings before we're in the playground.  Jacob hates to be late so he needs a rigid schedule.  Because if he's late, he's likely to have a bad day at school.  Shannon tries to follow the routine, but it can be difficult.  I think it's because Jacob and I are so alike that I can apply it a bit more effectvely. 

I know Jacob benefits from the routine, but everyone needs downtime, even if we're still going through the weekly grind.  Jacob also enjoys when mom is in charge, because it's like he can take a deep breath and flow through his routine more fluidly.  If only we could get him to take a deep breath before he has a meltdown.  Oh well, at least we have a 4 day weekend, so well just put this week behind us and start fresh on Tuesday.


  1. Hi Jim...that photo is really creepy, lol! It's totally me when I get up in the morning, after having taken about 30 minutes, at least, just to get out of bed. It's painful getting out of bed in the morning, every single day, and until I've had my medication, this is how I feel. Chronic pain can really take a toll on ya, and sometimes the pain is more than I can bear, making me feel that thing in your photo. LOL!

    It's interesting to read your posts, and I can totally see how a strict routine would help keep Jacob from having meltdowns. I'm sure it's way worse for Jacob, but I think it's true for almost everyone that when our routines get messed up and things get chaotic, we all start to break down a little. It's great though, that having a strict routine helps Jacob stay mentally healthy (and physically, I'm sure) and that adds a silver lining to things I'll bet. Something other than medication to help is always a relief and effort well-spent! I look for things all the time that help me with my disability, other than medications. The doctors just love to push those pills, but when you find something that helps so wonderfully without having to swallow a pill (and deal with side-effects) suddenly the clouds start to break and the sun shines through!

    I can totally see how mom could let him get away some stuff too. I remember when I was a kid, and I always thought, "Yay, dad's gonna be gone for a while," (military brat) because mom was usually much easier to swindle! LOL

    Thanks for all the insight you post on your blog, Jim! It's great reading!

    1. It's funny that you mention meds. My wife and I have swore that if we don't absolutely have to, that we'll never medicate Jacob.

      When jacob was young he got Impatago? I think that's what it's called. We had to give him this cherry penicillin twice a day for a week. If you've never seen a child with Asperger's wig out, then you'd have been shocked.

      I'd get a dose of the stuff in a cup and another dose in a plastic syringe. And I'd ask Jacob, which do you want? He'd look at me and say "Well Dad, you're gonna have to use the syringe." Then he'd run into his room, hide in the corner and cover his mouth with both hands. That was a horrible week.

      So if a strict routine works in place of meds, then a routine it is.

  2. It is hard for my husband and I to do everything the same way, too. K definitely needs her routine, but sometimes either he thinks I am being too loose, or I think he is being too iron fist. We just try to do the best we can, knowing we should probably start saving for future therapy bills...ha.

    1. It is a constant learning curve. I guess we're lucky that we only have 1 child, so we can focus more on what works for Jacob. I couldn't imagine having multiple kids running around here.

  3. Norrin really needs a set routine and when it's thrown off - it's upsetting to him and there's no explaining it. He still does not understand. My husband and I do things extremely different. I think I try to stay true to routine but Joseph is more laid back.

    It happens to all of us. Just try to get back on schedule as soon as you can.

    1. I think it's going to take a few weeks to full get Jacob back on track, but what can you do? We just go with the flow.

  4. Hi Jim, similar issues here. My son was unwell, then his dad worked away, then there was the Easter break. Its all put us back and I've got to work at reestablishing a routine again. Deb at aspie in the family

    1. The thing I love the most about Asperger's is, that it can take months to establish an effective routine, yet it can take minutes to destroy it. It must be tough when your husband is out of town. I guess I take for granted how nice it is to be home a lot.