“Standing at several crossroads, without any clear routes, So many possible ways to choose, our choice will always be ambiguous.„
To be prepared or not to be,
That should not be a question.
Not enough sleep, stress and external sensory overloads affect several executive functions which makes it often (much) more difficult (or impossible) to focus, memorise, communicate, observe and understand what happens around us.
When this overloads the autistic brain, the fight-or-flight response kicks in delivering hormones that will replace the rational mind by raw and uncontrollable emotions, preventing the possibility to make well balanced and rational decisions.
This can have dire consequences for the future, especially when a choice is (immediately) required and none could be made, resulting in unwanted consequences that affect life.
When the outcome of such choice is bad, it often gives friction with self-confidence making it much more difficult to choose again (in a timely manner) when arriving at a similar path. Choices often take a lot more time (procrastination by fear) at that moment to take.
Having a good network of friends and/or assistance services will help to minimise the damage of those moments.
Being prepared in advance for any possible scenarios (the “crossroads” in life) is a proactive and smart way to reduce risks, providing the ultimate lifeboat for a person with autism in this big and chaotic world.
We will never be ready for the unexpected, but we can be well prepared for that which is bound to happen. That’s why (as example) headphones are a must have to avoid many issues caused by auditory sensory overloads, having a communication card ready for that moment when communication fails, always having medicine or coping strategies ready for when anxiety takes over the rational mind, being well prepared for places to travel to and having checklists for that which we (might) forget.
Always try to understand that a person with autism might have several extra routines (almost hardwired in the brains) to be fully prepared for a task at hand and to avoid any extra stimuli causing stress.
Such (often rigid) routines might look unnecessary or maybe useless in the eyes of somebody without autism, while it offers for a person with autism the absolute needed confidence, rest and peace, to have a good and fruitful day without frustrations, pain or agony. It’s mostly also the bridge towards a good nightrest without worries for the next day to come.
Never underestimate the power of being well prepared and the function of stimming when the unexpected suddenly happens.