Good Morning All
Haven’t been about for a couple of days. There have been some interesting developments in our house.
In an effort to remove demands, we have put together a list of 4 Absolute Rules. These rules cannot be broken by anyone.
- Phones are not to be charged in bed
- We will not hurt other people/pets
- We will not lie
- We will not take things without asking
Anyone that is dealing with PDA will understand the need for this. Anything else is up for discussion and negotiation.
These 4 rules are going to be framed and put on the wall as part of our command centre. My command centre is still a work in process but, currently, contains a pin board and a large wall planner. The wall planner is a week at a glance and has 4 rows to represent each member of the family. Anything that is fixed or non-negotiable will be written in black. Anything that has to happen but is flexible in time will have the time written in blue (colour chosen by our son) and the description in black. Anything else will be written in blue so that it is obvious that it is up for discussion.
When you are living with autism, it is essential to be organised. However, mix in PDA and, although still essential, organisation is there for a different purpose. PDA means that any demands are met with an instant no. The only way to cope is to reduce those demands. This avoidance is a result of anxiety, a pathological need to be in control of their own environment. Quite a difficult thing to deal with – who am I kidding – it’s enormously stressful! But……..when you get it right, the result is amazing!
Too much routine and it is exploited. This was difficult to get our heads round. If anxiety starts to rise, the routine becomes almost like an escape, a means of controlling the environment.
I’m no expert in these issues but, we have been living with them now for many years. We have made many many mistakes and still are. The learning curve is steep, incredibly steep. Are things running smoothly? Definitely not. Are things hunkydorey in our household? Definitely not. Are we still positive? A resounding YES!
See you soon.