I am NOT an organized person at all. It takes me days to put away clean laundry. I keep overfilling the trash can until my husband notices and takes it out to the dumpster. My worst flaw is leaving paperwork all throughout the house. My Son is in 22 hours of therapy a week now, is involved with the special education program at our local school and sees a developmental pediatrician along with his primary physician. how can I tell my ass from my elbow if I keep paperwork thrown around the house? How will I remember if today is his doctor’s appointment or speech/OT? Because my husband works, this is all on me; it is up to me to keep all of this stuff straight. I became an organized soccer mom.
I bought a monthly dry erase calendar that has all of our appointments and my husband’s work schedule for the month. A basic overview of what we have each day and helps so much when calling to schedule new appoints so I don’t double book us. I glance at the calendar to check what we have going on for the week and when is a good day to throw a stew in the crock pot or when I have time to make a big dinner.
I also have a chalkboard to use as our daily calendar. This lists exactly what we’re doing and where we’re going for the whole day. Eli is in ABA therapy (in-home) Monday-Friday 8am-12pm. Most of the time we are at home learning basic skills and working on behavior, but it is also very important to get outside or to be around other children. Having this daily schedule helps me switch it up and make sure we’re not doing too much of the same thing, but also keeps us on a schedule which (usually) helps keep Eli calmer and help lessen his temper tantrums. I want to make this daily schedule more for Eli and I both. Since he can’t read I am working on making it a PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) calendar. That way Eli can see actual pictures of things and places in our home AND out in town that we will be doing for the day.
My last organization tool, I can’t take credit for. One of our military resources is a group on base called the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). They offer so much advice, resources, and tools to help families with members with any medical disabilities. One tool I got from them was an organization binder. It has sections for anything anyone with a family member diagnosed with autism would need; medical history, birth information, doctor notes, referrals, therapy information, school information, IEPs. This booklet goes with you to all your appointments and holds everything you would possibly need.
Eli and I have a full time schedule and it get’s very overwhelming and confusing and these three tools have been lifesavers for me. Sure, my laundry has still been washed and folded and sitting in a basket for two days now, but when it comes to Eli, I am completely organized.