Springingtiger's Blog


Strategies for the Unexpected

I like things to happen as scheduled, I certainly do not like my expectations thwarted, my plans frustrated or my hopes dashed. All of which is fairly typical of someone with Asperger’s or, indeed, anyone on the Autism Spectrum. However I have had, over sixty years, to accept that plans change and I cannot always have things happen as I would like.

The advantage given to the high functioning autistic is a faculty for logic. If one accepts the inevitability of occasional disappointment one can expand the scope of one’s plans to accommodate it. I try to build into any plans I have, alternatives to provide for various frustrations. For example, I have various things I want to do around the house and garden so if my plans to go out are frustrated, I seize the opportunity to satisfy my need to reduce my “To Do” list. Sometimes it takes some time to recover from initial disappointment, but once I get in touch with my alternatives meltdowns are avoided. The biggest problems occur when I cannot give the time to my alternative plan that I would like, however if I can steal back time for myself all is not lost. I must admit I can get rather grumpy when things don’t go my way, but, as a rule, I have logically designed strategies to accommodate my disappointment.

I find that what works for me is to have several clearly worked out strategies that I can apply to various eventualities. The success of this depends on identifying in advance the most likely points of frustration and designing strategies for them to trigger. The problem if that this approach does entail holding a considerable number of possible strategies in my head at once, but preparation is essential if one is not to be surprised, I don’t like surprises.

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