We brought along Karl, who is a psychologist student, to see if he could acknowledge any different sides of Elisabeth’s story.
Elisabeth works with cleaning, but her own house is far from the cleaning standards she provides for her costumers. She has little time over for house chores or any other activities for that matter, she spend a lot of her awake time on her two children, they need a lot of attention and help in their everyday life.
The days can be a bit chaotic and she often feel like there is not enough time, the house chores comes in last hand. Her children needs constant remainders of what to do otherwise they tend to get stuck with games on the phone or the ipad and get nothing done. She need to remind her them to do everything from, get dressed to eat breakfast to go to the bathroom. Just the other morning Elisabeth was stuck in a telephone line and was not able to help her daughter to get dressed, therefor it took her one and a half hour to get dressed.
In school the days are very structured and the days look pretty much the same and follows a schedule that Elisabeth can go trough with her kids every morning before school. But to prevent sudden changes in the schedule Elisabeth calls the school a few times a week to check if there is anything special happening. It is very important to plan ahead and that the kids know what their day will look like.
At the moment the family uses a few different tools to help with the planning and structure.
A timer, because time is often a problem for people with autism. it is hard for them to guess how long time different activities takes. This is a problem in Elisabeth’s family as well, so the timer helps a lot. For example when Elisabeth is going shopping and the son staying home, the timer can help him to see how long Elisabeth will be gone.
They also have a big whiteboard where they put up their schedule for each day.
They use pictures to put up on shelves, the picture show the item that suppose to be on the shelf. This easy show where each thing belong.
In the kids school they uses a paper schedule where every day has different colour. Elisabeth think that they need to change from the whiteboard at home to the same schedule they have in school, because different colours for each day seams to make it easier for the kids to understand.
The problem with the whiteboard schedule, different apps that the family has tried, other calendar, according to Elisabeth, Is that the children can make changes and remove things from the schedules them self. The schedules Elisabeth has done can all of a sudden be gone or be a mess.
Elisabeths wishes for a helpful app is that she, as a parent, can lock the app so that the children can not make changes. She also wishes to be able to change the ringtone for the reminders because her children find some ringtones very stressful. Her son is interested in different sounds, alarms and ringtones and at the moment he likes the windows sounds very much so he has installed that on the computer.