The Schedule

Mandy of Mommy Musings wrote a great post about her daughter’s schedule.  As a mom with horrible ADD, a schedule is my nemesis.  Throw in Ava’s sleep disorder and therapy all day long, each day is a struggle.  Looking at others’ schedules has made me realize why I am so tired, disorganized and feeling trapped.  I need to get organized!  Here is a glimpse of a typical day for Ava.

5am – 9am – Ava wakes based on her sleep, or lack thereof, from the night before.  She is happy as a lark if she wakes up on her own.  If I have to wake her, she is cranky and the day is not a lot of fun.

7am – 9:30 – Mommy makes breakfast  of fruit, cheese and yogurt drink which Ava eats while she plays with toys and Mommy dresses her.  Sometimes we put the TV on, unless she is overstimulated and does not want tv.  She does not eat in her high chair for this meal – my big mistake.  Daddy and Grandma leave for work.  Grandpa goes into his office.

9:30 – Therapist arrives for therapy session #1

9:30 – 11:30 – therapy while Mommy showers, eats breakfast, checks email, does paperwork, etc.

11:30 – 12:00 Ava gets a break while Mommy makes her lunch and signs paperwork for therapist

12:00 – lunch of mac n cheese, broccoli, baked french fries, turkey or tofu and fruit.  Ava eats in high chair and sometimes will watch tv.

12:30 – 2:00 – Ava has therapy with therapist #2 while Mommy cleans up lunch, eats lunch herself, makes lunch for Grandpa, cleans house.

2:00 – 3:00 Ava gets a break to go outside, play with toys.  Sometimes Mommy takes her to the supermarket or runs an errand.

3:00 – 5:00 Therapist #3 – usually a tough session because Ava is bored and tired.  Mommy prepares Ava dinner and participates in therapy for part of session.  If she has Occupational Therapy, it is an hour of screaming.

5:00 Ava’s dinner of mac n cheese or broccoli littles, chicken sausage, green beans, olives, cheese and tortilla.  I can vary the menu a little, but her sensory issues make certain foods more desirable for her.  She is a good eater, luckily.

6:00 Ava plays with toys while Mommy makes dinner for adults.  Grandma comes home.

7:00 – Adults eat dinner when Daddy gets home.  Ava plays with toys and sometimes watches tv: Yo Gabba Gabba, Baby Einstein or Elmo.

7:30 – Ava has bath time – given by Grandma — while Mommy cleans up.  Mommy is ready to pass out at this point.

8:00 – Ava has a bottle of milk (shouldn’t be drinking bottle, oh well) and plays with random adult in household or her toys.  Mommy has to do reading, advocacy work and talk to Daddy during this time.

9:00 – Ava’s bedtime, sometimes.  Can be as late as 11:30pm if Ava napped during the day.  Daddy watches tv.  Mommy is usually on the internet to get some writing done.

11:30 – Mommy and Daddy’s bedtime.

9:00pm – 2am -Ava usually sleeps

2am – Ava generally wakes up, plays in her crib, sings, laughs and “stims” for several hours.  She tries to get back to sleep but can’t because she is filled with manic energy.  When she gets really exhausted she calls for Mommy or Daddy.  We bring her in bed and try to settle her down.  She falls asleep anywhere from 5am – 6am and sleeps until 9am.

However there are times she sleeps through the night, which are GLORIOUS.

There are no play dates.  There is no time for the park or pool.  Sometimes a therapist will take her to the park with me or put her in the baby pool.  We don’t socialize in general because there is no time.  I wish Ava could have more fun, but this therapy is so important now.  Hopefully she will play, take classes and have fun later in life.

What does your special needs child’s schedule look like?


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Kim Cristo
Kim Cristo is the mother to a child with autism and a neurotypical child. She advocates for the rights of autistic individuals and their families.
Kim Cristo

Kim Cristo

Kim Cristo is the mother to a child with autism and a neurotypical child. She advocates for the rights of autistic individuals and their families.

0 thoughts on “The Schedule

  • i love you for being a great mother. you’re an inspiration. may God bless you.

  • I would look for schools or daycare programs that have therepy (the pre-school that I went to specilized in speach therepy), or perhaps take her to a doctor’s office for physical therepy.

    When I would have physical therepy in the hospital they would sometimes have the kids play together if the activity allowed it (ex: catch or T-ball) It would be fun because there were other people there to talk to and have fun with, you have group support (when something becomes difficult she would have her peers telling her to keep trying) and she would get the socializing that she currently lacks.

    I don’t have autism but I am a former hospital kid. Between experience and watching the other kids, I know early intervention is important. At the same time early socializing is just as important. As I’ve grown up I’ve learned what its like to lack some of the most basic skills for everyday functionality, simply because I didn’t have the time to learn them. I learned how to handle big things such as surgeries, IVs, tests, but small everyday things I failed at for the longest time. It wasn’t till high school did I really get a grasp on the whole socializing thing, and now I’m in college and trying to stay organized with multiple activities on my calender, which is something that I’ve never had before.

    I comend you on being a strong Mother, and working so hard with your daughter. Just don’t forget to let her be a kid. Let her go get dirty, show her there’s a world out there beyond her house or the doctor’s office. Maybe once a week schedual a play date just to start out with.

    Good luck with everything,
    – K0rt-Nii

  • I think it would be a good idea to find some people in the area who have children her age that she can play with and socialize with.  If not, she may be awkward around people when she is older and have a harder time making friends.  This is merely my opinion; I am not expert in this department whatsoever.

    Also, you are an amazing mother and very strong.  You get through this day by day and seem to have a really good outlook on things.  Keep up the amazing work!

    Matthew 19:26
    Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

  • How old is Ava? It seems like that’s an incredible amount of therapy for someone very young.  Can you enroll her in public preschool? That would help a lot with the socialization issue.  Early intervention and therapy is important, but blocks of time that are more than an hour long seem to be overwhelming to most kids.  I wonder why therapy is that long.  


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