♪ And the times they are a changing…..♪

Posted: March 8, 2015 in Humour
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As a family, we were great fans of ‘Seinfeld’. It is, after all, a show about nothing. There are many sound bites from this show that are memorable, like ‘no soup for you!’, ‘master of your domain’, and ‘it’s a Junior Mint!’ to name but a few. But one of our favorite sound bites is ‘It didn’t take!’, when they were talking about a shower that didn’t take…it just didn’t work out.

And so, we come to this particular weekend. The weekend when we ‘spring forward’. Admittedly, I am personally on the fence about the whole thing. I mean, I get why they do it. I am just not sure it is absolutely necessary for us a society to continue this practice. And as a family with two people with autism in the house, I am damned sure we don’t need it.

In general, people with autism do not adapt to change as well as your standard neurotypical person. That’s not to say that some don’t adapt well, or that some neurotypicals do not adapt well. It’s a generalization based both on empirical data and my own observations. Change is good…. if you like change. My son Alex has shown some propensity for change. Through constant vigilance and effort through the years, we have been able to help Alex accept change in routine and to adapt when we are not around to deal with said changes. It is vital for him in order to function in a world not designed for autism.

My wife Anne, on the other hand, is someone who though she is older than our son, has a ore recent diagnosis of autism, and thus has become a little more set in her ways. By ‘a little’, I of course mean quite a bit. Add to that being a fiery redhead, and we have the makings for some pretty spectacular situations. And ‘Spring Forward’ is one of the most turbulent times we have to deal with as a family.

This morning, as Anne got out of bed, and shuffled her way down the hallway, it was more than readily apparent that this time change ‘didn’t take’. Her red hair askew, her eyes so pale blue as to appear to be like empty windows that looked deep into her soul, her demeanor slightly left of center. IN my mind ran a monologue which I didn’t dare repeat until safely out of range of her quick grasp. ‘The red-headed dragon, seen here traipsing along after an uncomfortable night of tossing and turning, may appear harmless…..but beware! One false move and she will gut you like a fish!’

Anne pointed out to me that she has no problem with time changes like ‘going to Paris’ or ‘going to Jasper’ because these time changes are buy choice. This enforced change goes against the very fiber of her being….she HATES being told what to do. \She would rather have the time change, say, at 2 p.m. on a Friday afternoon….

I escaped to work with Alex. We got to safety. We left my youngest one behind to contend with the time change. The poor dogs were also left behind, cowering on the sofa, eyes stricken with terror, shaking in their wee boots. We left poor Anne some space to come around, to deal with the undeniable discomfort of the clock saying one thing but the mind saying another.

Okay, we laugh a bit at this situation, but in reality it is a difficulty that is not necessary. For a week or two, Anne not only has to deal with it personally, but she also has to help all her students that are on the ASD spectrum adapt to this time anomaly. It isn’t as easy as it seems.

Please….if you know someone affected by this, be patient…..be kind, let them be themselves, help where you can, give space when you can’t, and listen when you have to.

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