If we’ve said this phrase once, we’ve said it a thousand times. The answer is, with Liam, at least when he was younger, “every time.” He needed to be reminded every time to do something due to lack of executive function skills (the brain’s administrative assistant).
At the same time that difficulty being organized kept Liam from remembering morning or bedtime routines, or how to stay organized at school, there were strategies that helped him remember things, until routines could be internalized.
Because he had to be told every time about specific things, we gave him a checklist like the one below, to help him remember what needed to be completed at critical times:
At school, Liam either had a teacher (usually his itinerant autistic support teacher), a classmate, or a checklist to help him pack up what he needed to bring home.
These external systems helped him remember without much reminding. They helped him learn independence and stop feeling frustrated about forgetting things.
They did wonders for his self-esteem and for us staying positive at home. No more, where’s your math homework? Did you remember to bring home your reading book?
The answer to the question became, no more times – I can do it on my own.