Does your ASD/PDD child have sleep issues? — The Bump
Special Needs

Does your ASD/PDD child have sleep issues?

I'm so freaked out...DC #2 is due in 1 week and DS doesn't sleep.

He won't sleep in his crib so the past few weeks we've been so desparate that he even comes into our bed but he's not even sleeping there.

He screams whenever we try to get him near his crib. We saw a specialist and they gave us a schedule to go by. i.e. getting DS down at 10pm so he is totally exhausted - but he's still not sleeping.

Once he's sound asleep in our bed we bring him to his crib and he wakes right up and screams. Doc says that this is common with ASD kids.

He would seriously scream the entire night if we left him in his crib to "cry to sleep"...we've tried and 2 hours was our breaking point.

Anyone else? help!!! How am I going to survive with another baby coming?!

Re: Does your ASD/PDD child have sleep issues?

  • My son does not have the same issues you are having but I will share what I did.  My son goes to sleep with out a problem but wakes up at 2 or 3 ready to start the day.  I have a 6 month old so this has not been good for anyone in the family.  We took him to a sleep specialist and he told us to try melatonin.  It helps you fall asleep, people take it for jet lag.  You can buy it over the counter.  It did not work for my DS because he could fall asleep.  His therapist then suggested putting a weighted vest over him once he fell asleep.  This has been great!  He now sleeps from 8 - 5:30.  We are all much happier. 

    I hope you get it figured out.  It took us 2 months - I know not what you wanted to hear with a new baby on the way but we had to try different things to figure out what worked best.

    Good Luck!

  • I agree with auntie. My ds has sleep issues. We have tried the exercising him a lot during the day, so he is exhausted by bed time. This works better for nap time than bed time for ds. He always gets a shower before bed. We read to him, reduce the lightage (word?) in the room to one small child lamp while reading. He likes to be rubbed/tickled at night. It calms him. But all this, he was still taking an hour to go to sleep.

    So we resorted to melatonin just last week. He goes to sleep earlier and he only takes 20 minutes to fall asleep now. Just like Auntie said though, it works for some but not all.

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  • I read your post at 3 am while I was up with ds *so yep he has sleep issues, but don't know how to respond from my black berry. anyway, my son was 19 mos ish when we brought ds 2 home. that first night I was home was the first night he had ever slept through the night. He is up many nights (most nights lets be real) and often for up to 3 hrs at a time . It's rough there is no question, mostly for me because I immediately start stressing about when nap will be tomorrow and how will it affect our therapy schedule. ds is in a ton of therapy because he is making huge strides so we wanted to keep on. I get that they need less sleep in theory but then the next day comes and half the time he takes a 3 hr nap so really it evens out just makes life hard for us. He has always been a bad sleeper so even though he either sleeps through or gets up once a night from 20 mins to 3 hrs, it's a huge improvement. I have always had to drive him in the car for naps so ds 2 sort of adopted that but with a little time will also take naps in the home. As far as working it with ds2 , we got ds1 a big boy bed before ds 2 was in his own room which I thought was a great idea because at that time he was in our bed in the middle of the night and I knew the baby would be in our room.. I figured i could lay with ds in his bed. The problem is he can just jump out and visit us anytime he wants but once the novelty of it passed he stopped getting out and now only comes in when he is up in the middle of the night to drag me out to keep him company. our sons bedrooms are across the hall from each other so we often bring our 1 yr old into our bed if ds is awake becuase he gets up ready to play. it does sound like a freak show I know but most nights its just really smooth, he rarely wakes ds 2 and yes we're a bit more tired but dh has started helping much more with the little one *big one only wants me and so its a good routine between us.. lastly, some things that have helped. 1. ds has always loved running water and us rocking him near any sink so we got a sound machine and finally found that actually sounds like real water 2. i can't remember what its called but its a stuffed turtle with a hard shell back and it projects stars and moons on to the ceiling and walls in 3 colors. DEFINATELY helps ds to stay in his room. gl and you will get through it you will just get a new routine, melatonin worked when I finally broke down and tried it but I only did it 3 times because it does nothing to keep them asleep longer, or prevent wake ups it simply helps them to fall asleep. best
  • My son is also like this with the screaming and all.  Honestly he wakes up so many time that we leave the tv on for him so he wakes up and watches tv for a few hours and falls back to sleep with no screaming.  I know people are  not fans of tv but it saved us from hours of screaming.  He still screams at bedtime but I give him his juice and he calms down and watches tv for at least 2 hrs before falling asleep and I don't put him to bed until 10pm and he doesn't take naps.
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