Time management challenges for teens with ASD

Time management is critical for success. This becomes even more important for the teenager with ASD who is needing to manage the requirements of school, social engagements and part time employment. There will be competing pressures on you to manage day to day school attendance, homework commitments, any out of school commitments you may have and the requirements of your part time employment.


The first thing you need to do is think about your daily routine from the time you get up in the morning until you go to bed at night time. You then need to consider how you will organise yourself to manage this effectively while keeping your anxiety levels under control.

As a teenager with ASD you will need to establish routines for getting up and ready for school that take care of your personal needs eg. bathing, school uniform organised, breakfast, school bag packed with your days’ requirements, leave home in time to get to classes on time.

If your part time job is after school, then you need further levels of organisation to manage your workload. Consider whether your job requires a change of clothes or a uniform, these will need to be packed into your bag before you leave home in the morning. How do you travel to your job? If you have homework how will you schedule this into your routine so that you can manage this? If your job goes into to the evening, how do you get home?

If your part time job is on the weekend, then there may need to be a change to your daily routine. Consider what time your job starts and how you may need to change your routine to ensure you manage your time to complete your personal needs. How do you get to your job and how do you get home?

While at work there will be further time management issues. You will have break times. For the teenager with ASD this can cause anxiety as it may require you to interact and communicate with other people you are not familiar with. The nature of part time work is that these people may change from shift to shift or week to week. You may need to develop some strategies to help you with this as it is most likely that your work mates will not have ASD and you will have to learn about how they communicate and socialise.

For you as teenager with ASD having a part time job provides opportunities to develop friendships, to better understand the requirements of work, identify your suitability to different types of employment and develop your communication and social skills. These are highly valuable experiences and if you get the time management right with school and work then you are giving yourself a great foundation to commence a future working life.

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