My brother in law's medicaid service coordinator told us the story once about them having to change his chair at the sheltered workshop he works part time at. It was a different color than the old chair. He was very unhappy, and it took him over a month to adjust.
Little things during our visit....we were already familiar with these issues, and know they are part of the autism "package" but now we were seeing it in action day after day. For example:
We were taking him places, and added a stop at the last minute. He was immediately anxious.
His other brother in law said he'd be back to pick bil up at a certain time, and he was a few minutes late. As soon as the appointed time came, bil was immediately anxious, with anxiety building as the minutes ticked away. It wasn't very long but to bil it was a lifetime.
On the way out of town (husband and I driving him the 3 hours back home), I knew we would pass the library. I had books I had to return so we decided to swing into the parking lot and use the drop off box. Immediately, bil anxiously exclaimed "what are you doing?"
Same thing when we got into his home town. You are on the main road and then you have to take several local roads. Husband turned onto one particular road and suddenly from the back of the car came the anxious "what are you doing?" It must be my mother in law doesn't take that particular road.
And finally, when we got home, my brother in law told his Mom he had bought a new pair of shoes. Immediately she said "you are going to throw the old ones out, right?" He just stared at her. She then said "Tell me you are going to throw out the old shoes". Apparently once something is worn out or broken, it's very hard to get him to get rid of it. My mother in law is a meticulous housekeeper but she has to do all of that. He won't get rid of old things on his own. At least not without a great deal of effort on her part.