All kids need routine – not only does routine help them to learn how to do the things they need to each day, routine also provides security and predictability.
For kids on the Autism spectrum, a clear routine can fill in the gaps where weak executive function might otherwise cause them to be unable to plan and implement a step-by-step process.
For the Navigator, routine has always been a double-edged sword. On the one hand, he can get the training and security he needs out of it; with his executive function issues, showing him the path to follow can be very helpful to him.
On the other hand, his pathological demand avoidance can make the each step of a routine an anxiety trigger in and of itself.
One of the results of his anxiety was to sometimes blame the messenger (me) for reminding him of his daily routine and how much time there was for it.
After explaining to him that I was not responsible for the rotation of the earth, I would wish there was a third-party reminder system that could take me out of the mix.
It is a wish that has been fulfilled.
We recently started using a service called Brili – it is an online service where a parent can set up a child’s routine, and then both the child and the parent can access it via whatever screen they might use.
For example, I can set up the Navigator’s routine on my PC, and then he can access it on a tablet and use it to guide his routine. Meanwhile, I can see how he is doing via my PC access.
After I signed up, I found the interface really easy to use. The set up was easy to follow, and gentle in its presentation – no loud noises or too bright a design that might put my son off.
Each task in his routine has its own reminder, so that I am not “the bad guy” and when it is completed he can swipe it away on the tablet, helping him to feel like his in control of the step, instead of me.
One of the best elements is a countdown timer that is really helpful in his learning how long it actually takes to do things (not the eons he thinks it takes).
I also appreciated the emailed tips for success that I received from Brili – not just how to use the service, but also how to refine our home life to support his success in setting his routine. The advice to look first at where his day was most chaotic was brilliant.
Brili is a paid service with varying levels based on how many routines are needed and how many kids are using it.
It starts at $12.99 per year for four routines for two kids – about a dollar a month is a great deal to be able to check it out and see how it works for a family.
This review is my honest personal opinion. I received compensation for this review and free access to the Brili service.
Proceeds generated from this site go to local autism and special education needs, Autcraft, a Minecraft server for children on the autism spectrum and their families (Autcraft.com), and to Project Hero, a non-profit organization that supports wounded veterans to promote a full and fast rehabilitation (ProjectHero.org).
Also published on Medium.