Tag Archives | sleeping

Now I lay me down to rest

My wife often suggests new blog post ideas, which is great because sometimes I’m simply fresh out… this time, she suggested that I blog about something that she and I do every single night. It’s just something that we do and have always done, something I never really put that much thought into but after she had the idea that I blog about it, she wrote it out rather nicely:

For me I go into their room before I go to bed (about 2hrs after they’ve fallen asleep) and I talk to them. I whisper encouraging words, tell them what they did well that day, tell them I love them, kiss them and snuggle them back into their blankets. I never ever skip a night unless they are spending the night at my moms or something and I physically can’t. It’s something that allows me to see them in their most precious moments and gives me time to focus on their positives even if it’s been a bad day. It helps me reset for the next day. I started doing this when Cameron was a baby and have kept it up all this time.

It’s true, she never misses a night where as I may from time to time. She’ll even get in there even if I already have. But we both pretty much do the same thing. We both tell them they’re “awesome” or that we love them, we both kiss their forehead or cheek… we both just need to check on them each night.

After my wife mentioned it, I got to thinking about it, and it reminded me of another article I wrote where I explained that I believe a child with Autism takes in a lot more of their environment than a child without Autism would.

Shhh... he's sleeping

Shhh... he's sleeping

I started to think about it, I came to realize that I was putting my own methods into practice… as was my wife. I mean, I’m fairly certain that the whole “play classical music while they sleep” thing works on some subtle level for all children but for those where Autism is involved, I think that they absorb that even further.

We honestly believe that telling him that he is a good boy, that he’s awesome, that he makes us proud, that he did certain things very well… all these things add to who he’ll be the next day and for the rest of his life.

We certainly do not exclude his little brother either, even without Autism. Because he deserves the same attention and love and words of encouragement. He might not take in as much as his older brother, or maybe he does… it doesn’t really matter.

It’s a very small thing, it takes a minute or two, it’s when we have nothing left to do but to crawl into bed anyway, but I think… we both think… that it’s extremely important. That it’s something we must do because they deserve it.

And even if it turns out that they never actually take in a word, that it never does have any effect on them what so ever, it’s still worth doing. It’s still important. It’s important for us, not just to us.

Do you do anything like this? Do you think children can hear/feel these things even though they’re asleep?

Comments { 2 }

How To Get A Child With Autism to Sleep?

This is something I’ve seen discussed quite a bit lately, it’s a fairly common problem but in various degrees. Some people can not get their child to fall asleep, others do fall asleep but wake up constantly and then others sleep alright but wake up really early. Like all things Autism, the problems are never the same.

I can’t give you an answer that will definitely work for you because there simply isn’t one… all the problems are different, all the solutions are too. On top of that, as I always say, I’m no expert. I can only tell you what has been working for me and suggest you give it a try… but don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work for you.

Cameron has had a few nightmare nights here and there where he wakes up screaming… even night terrors. He’s also had a lot of nights where he just wakes up and calls for me, or comes to me, or just wanders out into the living room and sits there until he falls asleep on the couch. For a long time, he’d wake up at 5am no matter how tired he was or what time he went to bed.

We’ve pretty much run the gambit of various issues.

The more and more I wrote about how the senses of an Autistic works, the more I started to think about what his senses might be doing while asleep. You see, I believe that sleep does not stop the flood of sights, sounds, smells and even feelings from invading the person’s mind.

Are you watching a movie in the living room while they sleep? Are there cars going by outside? Does light come in from the window? Is there a clock ticking somewhere in the house? A faucet dripping? A pet awake somewhere, maybe eating? Are the sheets irritating the child? Is the bed hard enough? Soft enough?

I think that all of this is easily overlooked because a child that’s sleeping should not notice any of it… but for Autistics, maybe they do!

Going by that reasoning, my wife and I put black blankets up over the windows in his room, no light gets in at all… and then we put in either a white noise system, or the air conditioner (which sounds a lot the same).

So from bed time till morning, there’s no light and the sounds around are drowned out. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be loud white noise, just something else to focus on. The white noise is in the room with them, the other sounds are not.

We have not moved on to the sheets yet, mostly due to lack of $$…. but already we’ve seen a huge difference. Cameron now goes to bed on his own, he insists on a bed time story… and then he sleeps soundly until 7, sometimes 8am. The sunrise does not affect him, the sounds of cars and trucks going by does not affect him. He is free to sleep, oblivious to the world around him.

Strangely enough, getting the extra sleep was actually a bad thing, as he seemed to regress for a bit… but after a week or so, we saw a total reversal and found that the extra sleep was a huge benefit and well worth the effort.

I’m not saying that what will work for you will be so easy, but then again, maybe it is. Go into your child’s room and sit on the bed. Really stop and get a feel for the room. Listen for everything. Look at where light may be coming in or even moving. Is there an alarm clock? Imagine your child in there while fully awake and all the extra things they would pick up due to their sensory processing issues.

It’s worked for us so far!

Comments { 2 }