In 3 weeks we will all wish each other a happy New Year. And many people with autism will also receive that wish. But what if we turn that wish into concrete actions that can really make a difference in the happiness of people with autism? In the coming weeks I will post 10 concrete actions that can make 2022 a happy/happier year for autistic people. No super big, impressive, world changing actions, but little things that can make a difference on a daily basis. Small interventions, based on theory and research, that can easily be applied and that can make every day in 2022 a (more) H.A.P.P.Y. day for someone on the autism spectrum. Make your New Year’s Resolutions for an autism-friendly 2022 concrete and join me in 10 easy to do autism friendly well-being actions. And remember: no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
Tip # 1: An island of predictability a day
One of the main sources of stress in autism is the inherent uncertainty of the world. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we all suffer from intolerance of uncertainty, but according to very recent research autistic people have difficulties tracking and controlling the inherent uncertainty of life and are therefore more prone to uncertainty stress. We cannot make the world completely predictable, but by creating little islands of certainty, we can make life more comfortable for autistic people.
Create one highly predictable moment a day and it can already make a difference.
A specific activity, well-known and highly predictable that is planned in a predictable way (which does not necessarily mean always the same time and place). This daily routine could be anything: listening to a specific song, watching a preferred and well-known YouTube video, lighting a candle, walking around the block, writing in a diary, doing sit-ups or talking to the goldfish in the bowl. As long as it is an activity, where the brain does not have to work because the activity is well-known, easy to do and super predictable. A apple a day keeps the doctor away. A routine a day is the healthy daily apple for the mind.