Deadlines are important. It helps to keep the focus on the goal ahead. With people that have Asperger Syndrome, this is unnecessary in some areas of life and completely necessary in other areas of life.
Unnecessary: Areas that cover obsessions and idiosyncrasies. Those with AS need no help in focusing on something that they have “tunnel vision” for. If it means that their room is clean to their standard and something they’re comfortable with, they don’t need much outside motivation to keep it clean.
Necessary: Any subject in school that they have no interest in (a.k.a. most classes) and things they do not want to do. If someone with AS has no interest in something, it’s a bit more difficult to motivate them to do things. If someone with AS doesn’t want to do public speaking, it’ll take forever to get them to buckle down and get things done.
For my accounting class, I have deadlines. These deadlines, however, are not set on “Allie”. They are set on “normal person”. I love numbers, and this accounting thing just comes naturally. So, of course, I am way ahead of where I should be. An example? I’m doing work that is due in February 2014.
Because it came easily and I liked it, I just kept going and going and going. Eventually I ended up in the place that I am now. Way ahead of schedule, and the teacher asking me to slow down so that she can have all the materials ready for me for the next chapter. *sigh* I understand why she needs me to slow down, but I fear losing motivation. That’s why I’ve made it as far as I have in this short amount of time. I’ve not given myself breaks. I’ve been focusing on my work and ignoring everyone else. And I love what I’m doing. I like using the technology I have to make notes for myself, like this:
I do not need deadlines for my accounting class because I’m going to go through it like that. *snaps fingers* Deadlines or no deadlines. I do, however, need deadlines for making my Christmas gifts because, while I do enjoy knitting, I lose motivation for completing the projects easily.
Reward systems are also good. They work hand-in-hand with deadlines to motivate Aspies to get unwanted work done. The Medic is learning that cookies and chocolate are good motivation for me. The more I do, the more cookies I get. It seems a little silly (ok REALLY silly), but it works. I’m excited about all the cookies and chocolates I’m going to get. I’m also motivated by imagining how much everyone will like the gifts that I’m knitting for them.