Getting kids into bed can be tough. Getting your child with autism in bed, can be even tougher. There are a variety of theories that seek to explain why autistic children struggle to go to bed and sleep well. Some suggest that autistic children struggle to understand the social cues that signal it is time for bed. Others suggest that they struggle with hormone imbalances. It could have something to do with increased sensitivity or even anxiety. Regardless of the reason, these following tips can help.
Set a Routine
Having a bedtime routine will do wonders for your child. Autistic children often struggle making sense of the world around them. This difficulty causes many autistic children to suffer from anxiety. A routine will help an autistic child to understand that it is time to relax and get ready for bed. For the routine to be effective, it needs to be consistent. The routine should be carried out in the same order and at the same time each day.
The first step to your routine is to disconnect your child from screens. Your child needs to understand that after a certain hour, they can no longer use technology. The next step is to take care of hygiene before getting in bed. Next, they should put on their pajamas, and get under the covers. You should end the routine with a bedtime story and a lullaby. Back rubs will help your autistic child to relax and sleep soundly.
A weighted blanket is a blanket that contains evenly distributed weights. These weights often take the form of small metal pellets. The result is a blanket that can provide a comforting and soothing weight. This can help your child to relax and sleep better. It is especially helpful if your child moves around a lot in their sleep or sleepwalks. Make sure that you care for it well. Even the toughest weighted blanket requires some care, but if you’re careful they should last.
Remove Sensory Distractions
Your autistic child is much more sensitive to sensory input than other children. To help them sleep, you need to take this into account. Start by using heavy curtains to block light from entering the room from outside. It may be a good idea to remove any light emitting objects from the room. If you want to check on your child, make sure that the bedroom door hinges are well oiled, or you may wake them.
Raising a child is a labor of love. It can be difficult at times, but worth doing right. Finding a way to help your autistic child is very important. They need their sleep so that they can better interact with the world and control their emotions.
Autism can make some parts of life challenging at times for the person affected. We can help with ongoing support and coaching when it comes to financial planning. Learn more about it here!