Well, after reading that exceptionally long blog post title, you're probably wondering: Yes, AspieMama, why do kids with autism have meltdowns when you drive a different way in the car? I have never experienced this personally, but I've heard from some parents of children with Autism that it does happen with some kids.
I suppose that I can't speak for everyone, but here's a story and my theory. My husband likes to go places and do things out of the house often, even if it's just going to the mall to walk around. The problem is, he never really knows where he wants to go, just that it's somewhere! So, we agree on a tentative plan, and pile the family up in the car and start driving.
At this point, I'm already a little nervous because I like to have a plan on where we're going, what we'll be doing, how long it will take, etc. After all, I need to know what to wear, what shoes to put on (determined by how much walking will be involved), how many bottles to bring for the baby, etc. My husband just thinks I worry too much.
Well, as I said, we agree on a tentative plan on where we're going. So, a few days ago, my husband suddenly takes a different highway exit than the one for the place I thought we we're going. I immediately felt a panic come over me. My mind was racing, "Where are we going?" "I thought we were going to __________." "What's going on?" I did not have a meltdown, but these thoughts gave me an idea.
What if kids with Autism feel the same way? What if they thought they were going one place, and even if they were still going there, if you took a different route they might not realize that. What if they were scared like I was, but didn't have the verbal skills to tell you that? This may already be common knowledge to parents of autistic kids, but I just thought I'd share, and ask for your opinions.
I'm not sure what the solution is. Maybe having a picture schedule in the car of the places you're going? I'd love to hear your opinions about this as well.
Have a super week,