Sunday, 26 July 2015

Autism and the Everyday #2

There are some things about autism that are hard to live with.
  It's all relative because, let's be honest, autism is hard to live with.
Full stop. 
Let's talk sleep.
When The Boy Child was a tiny(ish) baby his sleep pattern was text book. 
It's fair to say that he slept like a baby. 
 At eighteen months old, he went onto one nap a day and kept hold of that nap 
right up until the summer before he started at Nursery School. 
 That's when the fun started with sleeping at night. 
 I first wrote about his sleeping in May 2013: 
 For the last few years, The Boy Child has not slept well.  
There's many a night that he can be up out of bed in the middle of the night. 
There's many a night that he can be up out of bed two or three times in the middle of the night.
The pattern is the same.
99% of the time, he trots into our bedroom and fusses
until he can get in with us or one of us gets out of bed and takes him back to his own bed.
1% of the time, he goes into the bathroom, puts the light on,
 sits on the loo (seat down) and reads out loud.
Until one of us gets out of bed and takes him back to his own bed.
And we haven't even touched on the early morning starts.  
The Boy Child considers any time from 5.30 am a good time to begin his day. 

We pushed his bedtime back half an hour to 8 pm in the hope he would sleep later.  
He doesn't.
Today, I took out the single bed from his room and put in the double from the spare bedroom.   
As we moved through 2014 and into 2015, this was the standard night time ritual. 
 I would go to bed with The Brainy One and wake up with The Boy Child.  
In June of this year we realised that he had spent a whole night in his own bed,
 then two nights, then a week. 
 We seemed to have turned a corner.  
We were so hopeful.  And continue to be so. 
It's no laughing matter when you realise that neither of us
 has slept through the night for more than four years. 
The dark rings under my eyes would defeat the hardiest of make-up artists.  
Now there's just the small matter of the time he wants to begin his day...      

9 comments: said...

You have my admiration and sympathy, Ruth. This sounds hard. Two years of broken sleep I found wearying enough, but four ... Keeping fingers crossed!

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

I know just how hard this is. We are very lucky that sleep is no longer an issue here. Seven long years of sleep deprivation (beginning at birth in our case) took their toll on us all. The breakthrough for us was having a much later "lights out" time than I thought was generally acceptable for a child of his age. He still got up early in the morning, but stopped waking in the night. Another friend had success with a weighted blanket for her boy.

Liz said...

It must be unbelievably hard but you're doing a great job. xxx

Sian said...

Great news! Funny, our boy sleeps much better in a larger bed too (tho in my day student flats didn't provide the luxurious doubles they seem to have now!)

debs14 said...

Broken nights sleep are so hard to deal with aren't they? For it to go on for years must be so hard, I do hope that this new chapter lasts. For all your sakes! I vaguely remember Robyn saying she weighted down Andrew's quilt to help him - or am I imagining things?

Becky said...

I do hope that this continues for you all.

Jane said...

I'm amazed at how well you cope, I do hope things will continue to improve x

Maria Ontiveros said...

Thank you for sharing your honest insights.
Hugs to you and wishing you pleasant dreams.

Alison said...

I remember that early post, but just(naively) assumed that the sleeping had improved.....everything is crossed that the nights of broken sleep are coming to an end xx

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