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Autistic Children/Teens and Sleep Problems

I'm a single mother and don't know how to deal with my 13 yr old anymore. He doesn't want to go anywhere or do anything which is hard when you have to, and I am now homeschooling him due to trouble going to school. A big problem right now is sleep issues… he is so active at night and tired during the day. At the moment he is not falling asleep till about 1 or 2 am, and I've tried waking him up earlier to reset his body clock but I can't get him out of bed. I don't know how to get him back into a healthy sleep routine.
 
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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

Anonymous said...

My son also has issues getting to sleep at night and the medication he is on does not help matters. I found a natural sleep aid over the counter at our local drug store...it has helped considerably. It's called midnite and you can take it any time during the night. Nothing that you have to have 8+ hours until you can function again. It helps to calm him down enough that he falls asleep. I give it to him about 1/2 hour before bed.

Anonymous said...

We have also had the same issues. Our DS also suffered from sleep apnea and had his tonsils and adenoids removed at 5yrs. He still suffers from inability to go to sleep from time to time (wide open at 10pm even though he's been "in" bed for 2 hours)!

Our psychologist also recommended valerian root as an alternative to melatonin. Apparently it tastes pretty bad so get it in capsul form. It works to keep him asleep (give 1 hr ahead of bed) whereas melatonin was to help him get to sleep (about 30 to be effective). I've also understood that they can develop a tolerance for the melatonin which mandates an increase in dosage. For that reason we try to give it on a somewhat limited basis.

Anonymous said...

My 4 year old DS has always had sleep issues. It 1st started as difficulty calming himself down to be able to fall asleep at night. We tried lots of different things like high activity/exercise during the day, weighted blankets, and carrying a heavy backpack around the house before bed. We didn't have much success so we started giving him a low dose of melatonin 1 hour before bed. This greatly helped things for a while but recently he has started waking up every morning at 4:30am - wide awake, super high energy, ready to go for the day. We have a rule that he can't leave his bedroom until 6, but he is super loud and wakes the whole house (usually he is in there singing very loudly). Also, he is often not napping during the day now, so he is really only getting 9-10 hours of sleep at night. As the amount of sleep he gets goes down, his behaviors and attention-difficulties definitely go up!

So, I am wondering if other Aspie Parents have had similar sleep problems? And, if so, what helped? I don't love the idea of more medications; however, we are all suffering from sleep deprivation now and willing to try anything that might help!

Anonymous said...

The only thing that has worked for my 17yr old is Tarazodone. It is the most benign medication there is, and not habit forming. If he gets good nights sleep, he is able to follow his schedule and is so much more "social." My MD says adequate sleep is as important as food to our bodies. I was able to get off antidepressives after my son got good sleep because I slept well, too!

Anonymous said...

My 13 yr old wont sleep at until daylight the nxt morning if im not constantly bothering him to go to bed. Ive lost days at work and my sanity. He is obsessive w the computer and doesn't listen when i tell him get off. He will spend 12 hrs straight on it. Hes missed school, doesn't go out on weekends anymore w me. Idk what to do anymore as a single mom. Will he get better?

Unknown said...

Shelly, did you ever get help for your son? My 13 yr old son too is obsessed with the computer and stays up most nights until the early morning. He hasn't been to school in a year and now we (his father and I) are being reported to the district attorneys office for truancy. I would love to share tips and experiences with another parent in the same situation as me.
Sincerely, Christina F

Unknown said...

Shelly, I wonder. Did you find help for your son? I have a 13 yr old son who likes to stay up until dawn and won't leave the house. He too is obsessed with the computer and won't listen or do anything we ask. He hasn't been to school in a year and now my husband and I are being reported to the district attorneys office for truancy. We have been getting ABA therapy for the last few months and that has helped some. I would love to share tips and experiences with someone in a similar situation. Please message me if you'd like. I hope the best for you and your son.
Sincerely, Martha

Unknown said...

Martha, I sent you a message as I have a 15 year old son who is the same way. Please check your google messages. Thanks.

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