Many children and teens with Asperger’s Disorder are insistent on routine and sameness. They want things to go the same every day and react with upset when changes occur. When changes in the daily routine occur, they may have mood changes, behavior problems, and anger outbursts. These may not be displayed at the moment the change happens, making it difficult to see how the change in routine caused the problem.
Their difficulty may show up several hours after the change, seeming to be coming out of nowhere. Changes in routine such as arriving to school late because of traffic, not having his favorite cereal in the cupboard for breakfast, or Dad driving him to school instead of Mom can result in problems. Upset with changes also occur at school. Surprise events such as a fire drill or a substitute teacher can upset a child for the entire day.
Some children with Asperger’s Disorder are able to express their upset with the change. They may question repeatedly, whine, cry, or refuse to go along with the change. Others, however, give no indication that they are upset and only later do their difficulties coping surface.