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Asperger's and Poor Time-Management Skills

"What can be done about an Asperger's partner who does not have any concept of time? He never estimates time correctly. Today he texted to tell me he would call me on my lunch break for our normal afternoon talk "in 10 minutes." That was an 45 minutes ago.  This happens several times a week! He could spend an hour at the grocery when it should only take 20 minutes. And when we have to leave the house to go somewhere, he's never ready when I am, so we end up late to most things."

Here are some tips for the "Aspie" with poor time-management skills:

1. Allow natural consequences to do their magic. For example, if you have two cars, tell your partner what time you plan to leave for whatever you're supposed to be leaving for, and when you're ready to go, gently say, "I'm ready to leave and you are welcome to meet me (wherever it is you're going), but I'm leaving with or without you." Do this in a non-confrontational manner -- just matter of fact and without emotion. Natural consequences often help Aspies learn better time-management.

2. Have clocks visibly placed throughout the house. Sometimes when Aspies are so engrossed in their "special interest" (e.g., surfing the Internet), they lose track of time. In this case, having a huge clock in front of his computer will keep him aware of the time at the moment.

3. Help your partner learn to be "early" to things. If he targets to be "on time," he will either be on time or late. Most of the time, he will be late. However, if he targets to be early, he will most likely be on time. 

4. Put alarms into his cell phone to tell him when to leave for important things (e.g., picking up the kids from school, going to an important meeting, etc.). 

5. Suggest to your partner that he create a daily plan. He can plan his day before it unfolds. He can do this in the morning -- or even better, the night before. The plan will give him a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, he doesn’t get caught off guard. 

6. Aspies with poor time-management skills often have poor organization skills as well. So, here are some important tips to help in this area: Organization Skills for Autistic Adults 
7. Another area of challenge for Aspies that is also related to poor time-management is problems with executive function. Here are some suggestions to help in this area: Asperger's and Problems with Executive Function

Best of luck!

Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

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