deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct (something), especially for political or military advantage.
‘Give Danny a daily dose of sabotage’ was advice given to me from my son’s occupational therapist years ago. Hearing that word didn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy. I feltthe exact opposite. Why on earth would someone recommend this? Why would I want to change the routine or plans that would ultimately cause a meltdown? WHY on earth would I do this in PUBLIC??? What a terrible recommendation!
It’s so easy to live in a routine with our son. Get up, go to school, come home, bed, repeat. He knows on Mondays and Thursdays, he has therapy and knows that on Tuesdays he goes to library at school. When there is a change in the week, trust me, we all know about it! He reminds us of the planned activity of the day and when he finds out that the routine has changed, he simply asks ‘why’ and then gladly resumes whatever activity he was doing. IT USED TO BE SOOOO DIFFERENT.
Before we started ‘sabotaging’ Danny’s routine, he was easily upset when just the slightest activity or schedule was modified or changed. My therapist had explained that creating a sudden change in routine, schedule or even route would ultimately help Danny gain independence and confidence later on in life. She recommended doing something different once a day and the results would pay off. So we tried it.
I’ll be honest, I really didn’t want to do this. It killed my emotions when he had meltdowns. I felt so bad deliberately changing schedule just to get him to gain confidence that it will be okay if something changes suddenly. I first started it at home. Making little adjustments to his morning routine.. (putting on school clothes before breakfast rather than after for example). Then I started changing the route we took from home to school. Trust me… he noticed. Then I tried it in public!
Day after Day we did it. And now I see the ‘payoff’ … Meltdowns are fewer, and he understands that it will be OK if something changes in the routine. If only I could find that therapist and give her a hug… she has changed our lives forever with just a simple bit of advice.