Routine is very important to me as an autistic person. I have anxiety and when my routine is not going as it should then the routine clock starts going in my head. The anxiety increases as my routine is disrupted or off-schedule. I am very insistent that things stay the same as much as possible, this helps me have predictability in my life. I hate unpredictability, it creates anxiety for me.
My routine includes getting up in the morning, working on school work, working on homework, doing piano practice, feeding my horses after my first half of screen time on the computer, taking a shower, and making my bed. Then, I have another routine where I fix my bed in a certain way before I go to bed. My blankets have to be laid out in the correct way, my pillows have to be set up in the right way, etc. I end this routine by brushing my teeth and always getting a drink of water before I go to bed.
I do not handle last minute changes very well. If there is going to be a different family member driving me to an extra activity or appointment then I get very, very, anxious. I think without routine I would not function very well. One of the advantages of having a need for routine is that sometimes I can use routine to learn something. When I was pressing fabric for sewing a quilt, there was a sort of routine way of pressing the fabric for quilting. I was able to do the pressing well, because it had routine in it.
This is why routine is so important to me as an autistic person, It provides predictability and lowers my anxiety in a not so predictable world.
photo credit: MomMaven <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/29008389@N03/5812233151″>Clock (NEW YEAR concept)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>