Notes on Cleaning an Aspie Kid’s Room Without Him

Daschel was with his dad this weekend so took the opportunity to do some long-awaited Spring cleaning in his room. Because he collects and loves his spiral notebooks so much (he writs about current obsessions in them and files them like a librarian) I knew that dealing with that aspect of the room was going to be the toughest. In the end, you can’t let the Aspie child keep everything … in our cases we were starting to look like an episode of Hoarders because we never wanted to throw any of his work away. So today I went through every piece of paper (hundreds) and every spiral (dozens) and separated them. One pile was going to be trash, the other have moved to the storage box I keep for his childhood memorabilia. I knew damn well that moving this stuff (and reorganizing some toys and books him room) was going to surprise him when he came home, maybe even startle him. Typically he doesn’t do very well with sudden change, especially if it affects his projects. Today actually went pretty well, though. I walked him through the room and explained each change and why it had changed. He noticed immediately that certain spirals and papers were missing, but handled the explanation well and see pleased (even proud) that there is a bigger box that all that stuff goes to for Mom to keep forever. All in all it was a good day – we took a situation that could have caused a serious breakdown and turned it into a positive situation. I have a feeling he’ll be bringing me papers for the big bin on his own now, instead of just piling them up on his desk miles high.

He hasn’t noticed the states puzzle with five missing states is gone yet. I will face that battle tomorrow, no doubt.