Routine and Patterns

People with ASD’s tend to have an “insistence on sameness” about doing everything. To a certain extent, everyone, whether or not with ASDs, have for certain procedures a list of steps to be followed in a particular order, but they do not realise it unless they stop to ponder it.

I will give an example. Let’s say you are going into a shop to buy a magazine. You would check the price of the magazine, and then go to the cash desk to pay for it. You would then hand the magazine to the assistant, who will scan in the bar code, and then tell you the price of the magazine. You would then hand the assistant some cash to the value in excess of the price of the magazine, and from that you would work out the change you should be getting. When the assistant gives you back your change, you would check it. If it seems incorrect, you would bring it to the assistant’s attention, otherwise you would put the change into your pocket, and leave the cash desk with the magazine.

There are certain procedures, about which people with ASDs would be very particular, but those without ASDs would not care as much. While I was in Beaumont from 1981 to 1983, I would come home usually every second weekend. It was not until late 1982, that I became familiar with the route home, and especially the route from Beaumont, out of Dublin, that my parents followed when they were coming up.

Most of the time, I made the journey to and from Dublin by minibus/ambulance, courtesy of the South Eastern Health Board (as it was then known – now they are all amalgamated into the Health Service Executive). They made several ports of call to hospitals around Dublin, between Beaumont and the outskirts of Dublin, and that meant leaving the Naas Dual Carriageway at Longmile Road, and worse still, sometimes outside Rathcoole, rather than going the full length of the dual carriageway, i.e. coming in by the Naas Dual Carriageway, and then going over the Grand Canal, as would happen if my parents brought me up.