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Neurodivergent parenting: Overcoming the organisational challenges

Updated: Feb 15

Parenting and staying organised is challenging enough, but if you are neurodivergent, it becomes much more complex. From managing time to keeping clutter at bay and not to mention the job of actually raising your children, it can feel overwhelming. However, with the right strategies and practical steps, you can overcome these challenges and create a more organised and harmonious family life.


1. Use routines. For some such as those with Asperger’s – routines can be a source of comfort in the chaos of daily life whilst others such as those with ADHD may resist routines however this structure is what you and your children need.  Also, if you can make them enjoyable by rewarding yourself on completion of certain tasks, this will be a great step towards getting organised.


2. Visualise your day. Visual cues are a game-changer when you have challenges with executive functioning. By using a whiteboard, planner, or digital calendar to map out your tasks and appointments, you can stay focused and on track. And it will help you child/ren to understand what comes next.


3. Break tasks into manageable chunks. Breaking tasks down can feel less overwhelming and more achievable. For example, if you are tidying your bedroom, make a list of small tasks –put clothes away, put shoes away etc. etc. Tick them off one by one and soon you will be done!


4. Set reminders and alarms. It’s so simple yet the key is doing it in a way that works for you. I use phone reminders – setting them 1 day and 1 hour beforehand. However, something different may work for you such as a whiteboard on the fridge with your child’s appointment time on it. Try different methods and don’t give up after one go.


5. Declutter regularly. I know I know, it’s not pleasant! However, if you let it build up, it can quickly lead to feelings of overwhelm. The secret is to start small, no matter the state your home is in. Focusing on the whole job is overwhelming but start with one drawer of baby clothes and reward yourself for a job well-done. This will give you the motivation to continue and once it is in a better state, you can schedule in time to declutter regularly and save your sanity!


6. Practice self-care. This is essential for staying organised. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you will be too stressed to even think about maintaining organisation. Although those fancy bubble baths are lovely, make sure your basic needs are met aswell – are you eating enough (2000 calories), drinking enough (2L a day) and getting enough sleep (7-9 hours)? When you have too much to do, something’s got to give and unfortunately it is often sleep.

Organisation is a challenge for neurodivergent parents, but it doesn’t have to be insurmountable. From using routines, to ensuring you get enough sleep (yes please cut something else out instead of sacrificing sleep!), there are ways to overcome this. Remember to be patient with yourself, celebrate your progress and seek support from those around you.



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