We recently had our Primary Program, and boy was it an experience. It is nerve wracking for all the Sunbeam (3 year old, first timers) parents, but there is a whole other level for us. So, we had been practicing Spencer’s part for a month! He learned it the first Sunday we got it, and he had it down.
We would ask him what his part was in the Primary program randomly throughout the weeks leading up to it, and he totally knew it and it wouldn’t be a shock to be asked to say it. What didn’t occur to us (or at least to me, Jessica) was that when he was asked to go up to the stand, and participate in the program during Sacrament meeting would be a SERIOUS disruption in his routine. Apparently, we had one that I wasn’t consciously aware of.
When it was time to go up with the rest of the kids, Adam took Spencer with him since Adam is the Primary pianist and had to be there too. Adam handed Spencer off to his teacher, and Spencer proceeded to meltdown and cry. I was a little surprised since I had prepared myself for a different reaction completely. After some convincing, his wonderful teacher got him to sit down by her and distracted him with her cell phone and various other things throughout the program.
Spencer didn’t participate at all. He didn’t stand up when the other kids did to sing, he didn’t do anything. When it was his turn to give his part (Grandpa recorded it on the sly), he got up and needed help from the Primary President who was right by him with the script. And you couldn’t understand a word he said.
He said, “I can be kind to others by sharing the bad guy car.”
After this though, he had gotten a taste of being in the spotlight, and boy he liked it. After this point, he settled into full on performance mode. He was up in the front whenever it was time to sing and he lead the music with the song leaders, which is a VAST improvement over shooting bad guys and throwing bombs which he has done in the past. He also got a little wild and it was terribly difficult for him to want to sit down after that. Thankfully, his part was at the end (ish) of the program.
I noticed in the week following a rather major disruption of the normal routine (the primary program), he was thrown off in other places. He had a harder week at school, especially the first day, and he fought with us a lot more. It just goes to show me how incredibly important all the little routines we have are important.
I always felt like I needed to be more structured at home to establish really set routines, but apparently we have patterns that we follow all the time just to keep the peace. And if your throw part of it off balance, he has a hard time recovering.
2 thoughts on “Living with an Aspie: Primary Programs and routines”
I loved the primary program and all of its wonderful chaos, and I think Spencer did great considering his little routine was messed with. I am always amazed that despite the chaos of primary, I always feel the spirit.
I also thought Spencer did great! I was impressed he went up to the stand and said his part, even if it wasn’t fully understood. But it is interesting that something like that through off his routine like that. He is such a cute boy!