Sticking to a routine is paramount in Kaitlyn’s daily success. She is way better off when there are no abrupt changes to her schedule; such changes can throw her off course for days.
Sadly, Kaitlyn is currently off course. We knew early on that her school schedule would be rather structured, and for the most part it has been. There are certain subject areas focused on at certain times and on certain days. She has special areas-guidance, art, music, and PE on a rotating basis. Combined, this has been a recipe for success. Aside from a few minor bumps in the road, Kaitlyn has been locked in on her school routine.
Every morning on the way to school, in roughly the same spot on our travels (routine is important to me, too), I will ask Kaitlyn what her special area for the day is. She will tell me, and it helps her set the tone for the day, and helps solidify her routine. This past Monday, she was supposed to have art; somehow, however, there was a mix up, and she went to PE instead. This made for a bad afternoon. She had quite a meltdown in the car, and I only added to her bad day when I got home and asked about art (Amber had not had time to tell me about the mix up and tried to stop me from asking), which caused additional sadness.
We thought she had moved on until she broke down a little this morning at home, and again in the car when her special area was brought up. As frustrating as it is for us to have to witness these meltdowns, it has to be exponentially more frustrating for Kaitlyn. One small incident has impacted her for three straight days now. It breaks our hearts.
I think the time may be coming where Amber and I begin to develop a strategy to tell her about her Asperger’s, and what it all means. It is not a conversation we are necessarily looking forward to, but one that may come sooner rather than later. It may help us manage her meltdowns a little as well.