View Full Version : What is your strategy for waiting room time?

05-30-2012, 04:53 PM
I spend a ton of time in waiting rooms, most often alone, waiting for T to do speech, autism clinic therapy, group speech therapy and miscellaneous autism related appointments. What do you do with all of this time? One session is over 2 hours (it is a back to back thing at the same location) and all of the others are at least an hour. I am sure I am not the only parent here with this sort of not really free free time. All told it is at least 4, often as many as 6 hours scattered through the week over 2-3 days.

What is your strategy for this time? Do you get anything useful done? Pack a book? I have more hours like this than I can fill reading lobby magazines and brochures on autism related topics.

05-30-2012, 06:18 PM
I've had minimal kid-free waiting room time but when I do get it I usually take a book or notebook to make lists/plan something. It's kinda nice to know in advance that you'll have a certain chunk of time so you can take things that fit that time. If the location has internet it may make sense to take an IPad or laptop to research things, list or scout out CL, etc. I rarely read magazines at home so they usually go into a "someday when I have free time" stack and I'll pull from that stack when I have free time coming up. We mostly pay bills online now but I used to take a checkbook and stack of bills and pay them at appointments. I've also used that sort of time to crop/sort photos on a laptop since it's a time consuming activity that doesn't require internet.

05-30-2012, 06:25 PM
Up until this month, I've had 3+ hours/week of that kind of time while DD did gymnastics.
My kindle fire passed the time well - both with books and magazine subscriptions I had on it. Fortunately the gym had wifi so I also brought my laptop and read BBB, all sorts of websites. I also brought work with me to do there from the office. Thank you notes, returning phone calls, sending emails, etc. I came to actually like that time in the end since I was able to get a good amount done. I hope you can find the same!

05-30-2012, 07:21 PM
Do you have to stay? Can you run errands?

05-30-2012, 07:32 PM
Kid-free? I would LOVE to read a book if I were forced to sit somewhere kid free for a little while a week.

You can also carry your iPad with you for some child free surfing time?

05-30-2012, 07:44 PM
I used to plan menus and make grocery lists or other shopping lists, plan Christmas gift ideas, read books, play on my iPad, etc.

05-30-2012, 07:51 PM
Study. I bring a textbook I have to read, sometimes my laptop if I can set it up on the corner of the couch (I do this at gymnastics). Is there any work you need to do?

Or can you see it as time to catch up on reading, I've finished school for the semester and I'm taking my kindle everywhere as trying to catch up on my reading.

Can you go run an errand to nearby Target etc? I see a lot of parents do that at our private speech therapy clinic as Target was 1 block away.

05-30-2012, 07:54 PM
I usually run nearby errands otherwise I read a book.

05-30-2012, 08:00 PM
I had a lot of waiting room time aline during DDs feeding therapy back in October/November. I had to drop her off at playroom at 9 and was only participating at feedings every 2 hours till 3.30-4 pm... Mon thru Friday for 4 weeks... Sometimes I ran out for errands, sometimes I only sat outside and read, I talked to other parents a lot, there was a whole bunch of us stuck like that every day. We even started doing Halloween and Thanksgiving crafts together (reefs), some moms knit, some brought books or laptops. I usually like to sit and read uninterrupted though.

05-30-2012, 08:24 PM
I would absolutely take my ipad and read if I didn't have the kids.

05-30-2012, 08:44 PM
Kindle/Nook or run errands. I used to play games on my phone until I beat all of them. LOL!

05-31-2012, 01:20 AM
If there are other parents around, I speak with them - discussing IEPs, school districts, therapists, groups etc. I also do a lot of my reading - I have queued up several books for Autism education and going through those. I'll soon probably be reading magazines :) once some of these things have been straightened out. Or just plain browsing! I love to window shop online and I'll be doing a lot of that. Of course, if it is during my work time, I'll be working, attending conf calls etc. At this point other than school district spl ed class, we are not doing drop offs. But with SDC I drop off, go to a nearby cafe and browse/work, do some grocery shopping or other shopping/errands or just go home!

05-31-2012, 09:33 AM
It is rare that DS isn't with me while waiting for DD's appts, but when I do have that time, I like to read or just chill and play games on my iPhone. Definitely not productive, but I hardly ever get down time to just veg out.

05-31-2012, 12:27 PM
We had one group therapy and the parents really clicked. We'd spend the time chatting, etc. It was almost my therapy.

During other appointments, I would simply enjoy the down time since it was my only down time for the week.