Who needs sleep?
It took 39 hours for my son to go to sleep today. 39 hours. Seriously. This is not the first time but oh my goodness IT IS TOUGH!
It’s Sunday, a day to chill, prepare for the week ahead, maybe go for a leisurely walk in the park with your kids & dogs. Coffee, drink lots of luscious coffee made by someone else. Yes, sounds lovely, that is of course if your son slept the night before & not stayed awake since 2am Saturday morning! I have no idea how he manages it.
Weekends are definitely a time to relax the routines a little, but there’s still a need to install a bedtime routine & try telling any 14 year old boy to go to bed then you’re going to have trouble! My girls are self sufficient & at 17 & 15 they should be, & I’ll always catch them on their phones late at night but they do sleep at least.
I’ve tried many things with Miles. Stories, which he’s now outgrown, melatonin ( a hormone made by the pinal gland in the brain that induces sleep. More than half of all children with autism struggle with sleep disorders) but he refuses to take it…worked great for a while, particularly after an active day. (This is prescribed by a specialist, not your GP.) I’ve tried essential oils, massage, music. Played Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd once & it nearly scared him to death! The list goes on. It’s a struggle & things go in phases along with his obsessions so what may work well can often be dismissed by him if he protests, which is often!
So today, the girls & I attempted to tread carefully ALL day. As quiet & thoughtful as we could as his trigger mode was on high. We avoided serious meltdowns, but his verbal abuse has been pretty strong at times & he does tend to lash out. This is when I have to block his blows often ending in bruising…on me I might add. As a teaching assistant, I did a course called Team Teach in which you learn maneuvers that prevent the child from further harm to themselves, others or property. I often have to put these techniques into practice with Miles but sometimes I wonder if my ‘control & restraint’ techniques from my Prison Officer days would work better!
So at around 5pm he got into bed. Luckily I’d negotiated a deal for him to have a shower beforehand…teenage boys don’t like showers at the best of times! But this is another battle we seem to face most days. Having eczema doesn’t help.
He asked me to cuddle him. This is rare. I jump at these requests. To have an opportunity to give him a hug is heaven. As a mum, that’s what we do, we love to love & give those great big mum hugs! I’ve learnt to accept it, well, not take it personally when he doesn’t want me near him. So how many more hugs will there be? It’s like when they’re toddlers & you pick them up all the time, carry them on your hip & one day you put them down for the last time & you don’t even realise it’s the last time! Anyway, he fell asleep. I fell asleep..(.for 2 hours!) I just hope he can get through to at least 4am, that way, he’s guaranteed to go to school tomorrow.
Now I just need to get a good sleep this week, feel good, lose a couple of pounds (ate too much junk recently!) & hope I can go to my friend’s big birthday bash next weekend, but right now, I’m knackered!
Sleep disorder topics will be covered many times. For some great information & support, go to Cerebra.