Spring Has Sprung

A mother and teen-aged sister were discussing their daily family life and looking for ideas to break out of the drudgery of the daily routine. Their son and brother is an 18-year-old diagnosed with autism. He has some functional language and is able to take care of some of his personal needs. He gets agitated when there are variations in his daily schedule, but the routine can get monotonous for other family members.

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SOME IDEAS. So we talked about introducing some small ways to infuse some joy and celebrate spring a little bit every day without disrupting routine. .
+ Help this young man put a blooming plant in a pot, put it in a sunny place, and teach him how to care for it. 
+ Take a brisk walk with a “spring in your step” around the block or around the yard or to the mailbox. + Point out flowers blooming, birds singing, new leaves coming out on the trees, and other signs of spring.
+ Put a bird feeder close to a window and keep a count of the birds that drop by for a snack.
+ When driving on errands, count the numbers of colors you see in blooming flowers along the route.
+ Eat breakfast in lawn chairs outside early one morning and watch the sun rise.
+ Put a weather thermometer outside and keep a record daily of the temperature.
+ Play a quick game of croquet or miniature golf.
+ Just sit in lawn chairs outside and talk about all the things you hear and see that give you spring fever. Sometimes our folks with autism need a bit of nudging to notice the world around them and to celebrate changes in each season. So make a point of sharing your observations and letting them experience and celebrate the steady and predictable cycle of changes of the seasons.

NOTE TO LISTENERS AND READERS: I am Cathy Knoll, a board certified music therapist and long-time friend of many folks with autism. At FAQautism.com we are committed to providing free, practical, everyday tips for making life better for people with autism. You can click on a button to send me an email with your thoughts or challenging situations or innovative solutions. Check out our website for a wealth of ideas and a glimpse into the world of autism. www.FAQautism.com

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