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10. Understanding the Struggles with Planning and Organisation

Planning and organisation aren’t just about neatness or keeping things in order; they are cognitive skills crucial for navigating the intricacies of everyday life. However, for many individuals, especially those on the autism spectrum, such tasks can prove daunting, turning everyday challenges into intricate puzzles.

Why It’s Challenging

Organising thoughts, actions, or even belongings, requires an intricate blend of cognitive processes: from determining priorities to predicting outcomes. For those with autism, the world is already a cascade of stimuli, and deciphering these elements and structuring them in an orderly fashion can be an uphill battle.

Supporting Ourselves and Others

Support begins with understanding. Recognising the complexities behind the challenges faced can help in crafting tailored solutions. Moreover, patience and clear communication, without overwhelming with too many instructions at once, can lay the foundation for enhancing organisational skills.

Practical Steps to Enhance Planning and Organisation

  • Task Breakdown: Split larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps, outlining a clear path towards completion.
  • Visual Aids: Use charts, diagrams, and lists to provide a visual representation of tasks and their sequences.
  • Consistent Routines: Establish a regular routine which can serve as a familiar backdrop, minimising the variables that need planning. Check out established routines for more on this.
  • Timers and Alarms: Set alarms or timers to allocate specific durations for tasks, aiding in time management and pacing.


  • Colour Coding: Use colour-coded systems for different tasks or categories, offering a visually appealing and structured way to organise.
  • Planning Apps: Use digital tools and applications designed to assist in task management and scheduling.
  • Role Modeling: Observing and mimicking someone known for their organisational skills can serve as a practical learning experience.

Self Drive Psychology Summary

While tasks that require planning and organisation can be challenging for many, understanding the root of these challenges can illuminate pathways towards improvement. By adopting tailored strategies and tools, navigating the complexities of daily responsibilities becomes not only manageable but also a journey of continuous growth.

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