Consistency During a Lockdown

These times are unprecedented. Many of us are just going day-to-day making sure we brush our teeth. That’s okay. One day at a time has never had more meaning.

I’ve heard from a few parents whose children receive speech or occupational therapy. They are distraught because they know how important consistency is, but they are following the rules and staying home to stay safe.

They are asking though – what can we do? I’ve sent links to online resources and helped a few get connected online with their therapists.  

But as a mom with a child on the spectrum, I’ve learned that maintaining consistency is still the best medicine for us. Having a daily routine gives him the ability to focus on his tasks such as school work and chores. It provides a sense of security and stability that is so important.  

I learned this when he was three years old. He was throwing a tantrum every morning and could only communicate with me through signs. He could however read (he taught himself). It was clear how frustrated he was. One day the l made him a schedule. Nothing fancy. Just a list of eight things on a piece of filler paper. Breakfast. School. Lunch. Outside. TV. Dinner. Dad time. Bed.

There weren’t times on the paper. Literally just those words in numbered order. It calmed him enough to get through his day. He knew there were no surprises coming his way. I did this every day for almost a year. Breakfast. Speech therapy. Lunch. Go to park. Occupational therapy (I actually wrote “Ms. Lisa” who was the OT). Dinner. TV. Bed.

Making a schedule might not be the answer for you and your child. Figure out what is the answer and make it something simple to get you through your days at home. Regardless, know that kids are struggling with the drastic changes in their life right now. Especially special needs kids that want a schedule and consistency. 

My boys are teenagers now. We have taken the lockdown very seriously. We are all home together 24/7 but I am earning my “mean mom” title well. We have a bedtime and a time we have to be awake by. We have lunch and dinner together to avoid snacking and make sure we are having healthy meals. We have daily scheduled activities (yes, I send calendar invites). They have daily chores. They are 100% responsible for making sure school work is done. This is what is working for us. Please offer suggestions of what is working for you.

Pam is the Executive Director of the Orange Effect Foundation. She worked in the marketing field for the past 10 years, serving as Chief Operations Officer for Content Marketing Institute. During that time she found her passion to build and lead amazing teams because of the commitment of the staff at CMI. Pam also helped to create Content Marketing World, an event where over 3500 marketers come together annually to learn and network with the best and brightest. Pam's background is in social work, and she is raising a son with autism so the opportunity to start and direct this nonprofit is a dream come true. She has been a key leader in the CMI Golf for Autism the past 11 years and a champion for many other nonprofit organizations.