Morning routines

I have seen many people ask for advice about getting their neurodiverse children out of the house in the morning or complaining about how they can never get to places on time. I have a young girl on the autism spectrum and have never found mornings to be particularly difficult. I suspect it is because of how I manage the morning routine for my own sanity rather than for my daughter’s. I keep my morning routine as minimalist as possible. I have never been a fast mover in the morning so having a slow and relaxed pace is as good for me as it is for her.

I start my morning, the night before. I fill up the kettle, get a clean mug and clean my cafetiere for my coffee, clean the pan and get out a plate, knife and fork for my eggs (I even sometimes put the box of eggs next to the cooker), pack my bag, organise my lunch (even if it just means checking what is in the freezer) find shoes, pick out outfits, find my keys etc.

In the morning everything is ready and waiting for me so I can get both of us out in about half an hour without too much stress though I usually give us an hour and a half. An extra half hour in bed would be nice, but I would rather go to bed early than have a stressful morning.

One last thing, if it isn’t our usual morning routine I will always give myself an extra ten minutes to get out the door, this allows for last-minute toilet trips, forgotten essentials, fights and meltdowns. When none of these are an issue, it gives us 10 minutes of chill-out time between getting ready and leaving.

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