Autism

Nothing is Happening Tomorrow

Have you ever had someone start to say something, in the sense of revealing information, and you would do anything to stop them? We have many times.

When our two children with autism lived with us, both had sleep issues but in different ways. Abby was just messed up when it came to sleep. It was not unusual for her to get up between 1 and 3 am.

Logan generally slept well, getting up around 7 am. Unless someone said something.

If in the evening, we or someone else, mentioned that something would happen the next day, there would be a problem.

“Logan, Grandma is coming for a visit tomorrow.”

“Logan, tomorrow is a day off school.”

“Logan, Abby’s birthday is tomorrow.”

If anything was going to happen the next day, Logan would get up extremely early. Sometimes midnight and sometimes he wouldn’t sleep at all.

We came up with the policy that NOTHING was going to happen tomorrow, no matter what was really going to happen. It was easier to train ourselves than others. It is natural to share the excitement of what was coming. Sometimes the event was so minor, that it did not seem to be a big deal. But we had to cut off people and re-educate people about what was allowed to be said.

Anticipation was something too disruptive to Logan’s sleep.

And that is a glimpse of autism.

 

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Comments

  1. Very true, Stephen. My husband and I and all teachers and EA's learned this (often the hard way) about our son. Teachers would spell out field trip information to the rest of the class or write it on the board! Otherwise our son would talk about said event constantly until it happened. As our son gets older he gets more and more dissatisfied with "we'll see" responses, so sometimes we just say we are doing a particular thing on the following day even if we don't know whether we are. Not to lie, but just to give him peace of mind in the moment. He's far more content if we change direction at the last second than if we give a waffling reply 24 hours before.

    Yep — this is autism. Thanks for sharing another little glimpse into that world.

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