Exhaustion

Bethany - posted on 03/21/2011 ( 25 moms have responded )

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My 6 year old daughter has just been diagnosed with Autism she has a number of very strange behaviours but is not text book autistic some of her behaviours are quite unique. My main problem is her constant exhaustion she can barely get through a day at school. She comes out of school in a terrible mood and screams and cries most of the way home saying she's tired somedays she will just kick off at home when she's reached her limit and just goes mad saying she hates today and its the worst day of her life, she is no violent but seems so stressed. I just don't know what to do it's exhausting me. She has just been to a friends for tea it took me 15 mins to get her out of the friends wardrobe then she went to hide in the cupboard under the stairs for another 5 mins.She then cried all the way home just wanting to go to bed. She struggles getting off to sleep every night and i use story cds to help her relax, she refuses to listen to the relaxation disks that she used a few times. Sleep medication has been mentioned but I'm not sure if that will help her at all. She has weeks where she will wake every night at the same time then the follwoing week she will sleep through. She is also not dry at night she still has full nappies and often wets during the day but refuses to tell anyone. I am a single parent and her father is in denial about her diagnosis. She sees him every week and they have a fantastic relationship. I am just a nervous wreck. It doesn't help that i work at her school but I love my job so I can't consider moving. She is good at school though and is well above average in everything. We're both just soooo exhausted xxx thanks for your time

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Natalia - posted on 03/27/2011

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Have u tried aroma therapy? Lavender to help sleep n relax ur child n ur self. Orange to help her mood be a happy one! Oils to rub on her behind her ear or on forhead. Bath n body works has a line of products for aroma therapy. It helps my 7 yr old autistic son. And have u tried checking her diet to a gluten free diet? I haven't done this yet but I have been told that it does mirIcles. I have been looking in to this and some people say it helps with sleeping and activeness. I hope this helps u as it help us.

April - posted on 05/03/2012

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Hi I am a mom with kids across the spectrum I myself am an aspie. The exhuastion may be becuase socilization is the hardest thing we do so a school day is incredibly long. The lights in the classroom were always too bright for me and nothing makes my mood sour like dealing with crowds of people. Its hard to tell when other kids are teasing or when they are joking. I have trouble recognizing some peoples faces. If the teacher cut her hair it could set my mood off as we do not like changes. A change in routine is reason enough to get exhuasted. If the child behaves at school all day the explosion comming through the door afterschool from a tired autistic taking it all out on you is becuase they did so well all day and need some peace and quiet in a real and medical way. Give the child lots of space so the mood can level out again, anything intruding on space after school is asking for a meltdown. My house does not medicate , we control our environment instead, we are aspies and autistics....a lot of things that they medicate for we can avoid by having a relaxing quiet environment with safe outs to escape social situtations when needed. also a blood pressure ring can help alert you if your childs going to melt down before they know it! Socilizing restores normal people but it makes us tired and drained. We should still learn to do it but in incredbly small doses. keeping visits short and without a lot of excess excitement helps my family pull off socilization. When the kids hiding, they are done socilization and dont really care whose house yer at....sorry. Get a babysitter if you need to have a long visit....this is really more your problem then the childs problem. You want to socilize but an autistic child often doesnt and after school our social meters are not just overfull but about to explode. Its same for my kids as was for me. Our heads hurt we are tired and cranky after a day of social (school is very social). Avoid pop and red food dye it makes all children evil monsters.

I avoid sleeping pills they taste bad and it doesnt help me learn to sleep. The trick is getting our hyper minds to slow down! What works for ME is waiting until I am tired to sleep....later bedtime (moms dont like that one lol but we need less sleep). We turn lights down in this house early though so we start winding down, volume too and if needed i sit in the hallway between my kids bedrooms with a book (to entertian me) so I can sit there and make sure they arnt talking between rooms keeping each other up all night or smuggling a gameboy in. 10 minuetes of reading in the hall fixes most bedtime problems without melentonin. They get bored with my sitting there saying "shush its not talk time its sleep time." When they get bored enough they sleep and since they didnt know they were tired it doesnt really take very long. Bedtime is the same time everynight and not even XMAS is allowed to mess up our bedtime routine.

Use disposable training pants for bedwetting. Dont make a big deal of it. The child not telling an adult they wet themselves is that childs way of expressing shame, discussing it can add to the bed wetting anxiety behaviour and make it worse. Check sheets dailey and just clean it up and say nothing. The kid wants to stop pissing the bed too I promiss you. Aspie mom of 2 aspies 1 autistic and one NT straight A non medicated students.

Andrea - posted on 03/30/2011

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Hi My daughter is 9 she has ADHD, PDD, and she just couldn't get to sleep. She would be soooo exhausted the next day, she would be cranky and miserable, and when she did sleep she would wet the bed. I also have a 10 yr old son. Who has Bipolar ADHD ODD, and Scitczophrenia. Who was the same way and would wet every night. I would be up for days with either one of them. In the last year, I started giving them Melatonin. in small doses. It is all natural, and has very little interaction with any medication. It has been a god send. As these two kids are on enough meds my daughter is on 3 different kinds of medications and my son takes 7. It is not a sleeping pill by no means, with it they are able to relax and eventually sooth herself to sleep, and it helps my son by relaxing him so that I was able to get rid of his night medication all together. She no longer wets but he does still. I think it was because he was sleeping more regularly that we discovered he has severe sleep apnea, and if the mask he uses at night slips off he will. You might want to also look into sleep apnea for her too. Especially since she is 6 and still wetting, and she is so exhausted during the day. I was told a long time ago. That ADHD, and PDD like behaviors later in the day can be a sign of Apnea.

Kristen - posted on 03/28/2011

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There are a wealth of alternatives to try before trying prescription medication. I would argue that although they do work for some - most, if not all of these are being used off-label and have absolutely no long term studies on not only being used off label, but being used with young children, off-label. Doctors may insist they are "safe", but if pressed, they are first to admit that they don't know what long term affects might be. Other alternatives may take time to work and there may be more trial and error, but I believe that the safety of our kids long term health must be foremost. Try a combination of diet, nutritional supplements, aromatherapy, sensory help, neurofeedback, quiet time, exercise, etc. It may be harder and take more effort, but at least brain chemistry and other possible problems will not be affected - and quite honestly, these other alternatives will probably result in a healthier child long term.

Tracy - posted on 03/28/2011

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Massage helps my PDD-ADHD 7 yr old. All day in 1st grade was tough in the beginning, but now that he's used to it we don't have any problems. The schedule of having "quiet time" after school helps too. This allows him to stim and lets the days teachings sink in.
Best of luck.

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Annette - posted on 09/17/2012

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Kids that have difficulties sleeping could try a weighted blanket. Gives them a safe secure feeling.

Annette - posted on 09/17/2012

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Have you had her thyroid levels checked, she could have hypothyroidism, which would make her tired and sluggish. Worth checking out, that was the first thing our peadeatrician checked, was bloods and urine...full tests done on everything. Worth looking into.

Patty - posted on 09/07/2012

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My son has Aspergers and has trouble going to sleep, we tried the melatonin for a while then he didn't like taking it. I started using these all natural products for my other son's ADHD and am using them on my son with Asperegers, they also have something for sleep that I tried with him that he says works instantly. http://vitalxpression.com/pattysweet/Pro... this is the site to go to to get the it, it is called Serenity.

Paula - posted on 09/05/2012

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hi..i have a 8yr old son who never sleeps, always eating, when he uses the toilet its like a 3yr old has been, he doesnt like change so we rarely go anywhere, he hits without thinking n never shows any remorse!!!, hes at school aldaywe pick him up and then he tends too his ponies and then rides his bike and so on, but he is a child that never stops and always on the go! but too get him 2 sleep it impossible!!!! if u put is socks on wrong r any clothing thats it he kicks of!!! weve tried everythin our life is unbearable as theres so muchmore i could tell but id be ere alnight!!! we have gone 2 doctors but 2 be fair there doesnt seem 2 be much help!!! Can anyone help please!!!thank u!!!

Bethany - posted on 03/30/2011

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thanks andrea, i am considering the melatonin for my girlie, although she does get enough sleep approx 10 hrs a night gettting her up can be hard and she is often cranky in the morning, what upsets me the most is that she doesn't care about things a normal 6yr old would be worried about, she doesn't care that she still wears nappies she doesn't care that she needs nappy cream most days after she's wet at school allday and her damp knickers have rubbed her raw, she is so not bothered. I know i wet the bed when i was 6/7 for emotional reasons and i was mortified, I guess thats her autism though. EWe had a long chat tonight about her behaviour and she scares me with the things she thinks about she has so much going on in her head i dunno how she functions daily, she talks about her "patterns" and how sounds must be even even down to her teachers white board pen sqeaking as she writes she says she see's sums everywhere and colours she has to find other colours to match for example she said if she sees something yellow she must find another object that is blue to make green and that her brain tells her which colours or numbers etc. I find it all a bit hard to take really. She is such a bright girl in the top set for everything. I must admot the wetting at night gets me down as her urine smells so bad she refuses to drink during the day she only has her school milk and few sips of her juice at lunch i have tried everything to get her to drink more but she just won't, her unrine smells so bad if she's near me with her nappy on i know when she has just wee'd. The smell in the morning is just awful - i hate it!

Sara - posted on 03/24/2011

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Margo,
Yes she is still waking in the night and there isn't really much I can do to help her stay asleep. I did at one time have a mini trampoline with a handle bar on it but it was previously used and she jumped on it so hard that she broke the bungee cord that held it together twice and that made the cord to short for me to be able to fix it a third time. She sure did love it and it worked well for her but I don't have the money to replace it unfortunately.

Margo - posted on 03/24/2011

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Wow..she takes that much and still wakes up? My 5yr old takes the 0.1mg every night and still wakes up but only because it makes her mouth dry. My daughter's disorder specialist told me that it's not used to make them stay asleep as it is to help them fall asleep. Keeping them asleep is the parents duty, unfortunately. Do what I did and buy a mini trampoline and MAKE her jump on it in front of the tv until she's exhausted! I make mine get on hers whenever she's feeling out of control and within a few minutes she's laughing. Go figure :)

Sara - posted on 03/23/2011

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My daughter used to be on that same dose but now she is up to 1 and a half tablets of 0.1mg tablets. She does still wake in the middle of the night most nights though.

Dianne - posted on 03/23/2011

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I agree with Christine ... maybe she is just sensory overloaded...maybe you should talk to her teacher about giving her a time out...maybe 15-20 minutes (yes that long) before the end of school to sit in a quiet area, maybe the library and just rest on a bean bag chair and see if she ends her day differently. Just a thought...transitioning in these kids is really hard and usually toward the end of the day it is potty time with all those potties flushing, kids yelling and laughing and water running and the teacher shouting...I would see what the end of her day is like in school and take it from there. My daughter could not do potty time in preschool. I had to come early to pick her up and I would take her in the bathroom when everyone was done. If we did it any other way, she was melted down before we even left the building.

Linda - posted on 03/23/2011

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Andrew is on 0.1 mg. He takes a whole pill now. He started on half a pill. As far as I know, he doesn't wake in the middle of the night. He will at times get up earlier than I would like, but I definitely can't complain!

Sara - posted on 03/23/2011

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Yes Linda, Clonidine works wonders. May I ask how much he is on? My daughter still wakes through the night but like I stated before it's usually only once for maybe an hour and then she goes back to bed on her own. We have also had to raise and lower her dosage to find out what worked best for her because when she first started it was on and increasing dose each week for about 3 weeks depending on how well she tolerated each dose. She did get to a point that she was taking enough to make her sleep wonderfully but then she was excessively tired in the morning and didn't want to get up for school so we had to reduce her dose. It seems to work great for her now that we have found a dose that is a happy medium of being able to sleep and not sleeping too much.

Linda - posted on 03/23/2011

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Love clonidine! Andrew is on that, too. We were originally put on it for the stimming, but neuro told us it would work for sleep, too. He would lie awake for hours in his bed, now he's asleep within an hour of taking it and sleeps about 9 hours a night.

Sara - posted on 03/23/2011

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I must say that I agree with everyone who has posted something on here. My daughter is going to be 5 in August and she was diagnosed at about 2 1/2 years old with Autism. She has had sleeping issues for a long time now. I talked to her pediatrician about it and they had me try her on melatonin. The melatonin worked for maybe a couple weeks and then failed to work for her after that. She is now on a medicine called Clonidine. It's actually a blood pressure medicine but used in very very small doses it is also used as a sleep aid. This medicine has done wonders for her. She doesn't have much difficulty at all falling asleep and sleeps fairly well through the night. I have noticed that she is waking at least once a night and will talk to herself for a short while and then she goes back to sleep. I personally recommend using the herbal methods for sleep first before putting her on something like clonidine. Also, not only should you talk to your pediatrician about all of these issues but you may ask for a referral to a sleep specialist and a neurologist. My daughter sees both and they have tremendously helped me with her. If you have any other questions or just wish to talk feel free to message me. I don't always check my "Circle of Moms" page so if you would like you can always email me. My email is SaraBear81387_16@yahoo.com. Also, anyone reading this that would like to contact me feel free to email me and I will try to respond as quickly as I can. Good luck and Best of wishes to everyone.

Dianne - posted on 03/23/2011

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Have you discussed with your physician a possibility of a sensory disorder as well?

Linda - posted on 03/23/2011

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You must be tired! Maybe she is so exhausted from having to be "on" all day at school. I am a physician assistant in family practice and I would recommend that you see your peditrician. Get some blood work done, check her B12, Iron and Folate, lead level and thyroid. Set expectations for her and as another poster said, tell her what you expect and praise her when she does good. Do not give her vitamins (other than a multi vitamin for kids) without talking to your peditrician. The recommended daily allotment is different for kids and you don't want to give her too much. Journal what she eats and what type of day she has. That will help you determine if she is sensitive to sugar, lactose or gleutin.

I'd recommend doing some reading on autism. This is an awful lot to take in. Please pray. Pray for her and with her. My twins, including my son with Asperger's, don't leave the house without us praying. Speak to the doctor about putting her on something for sleep. If she's tired, that will make her emotional outburst worse. Good luck and hang in there!

Kristen - posted on 03/22/2011

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Hi Bethany
Sorry things are so tough right now. Been there... So, I just have a few questions/suggestions. How is her diet? If she were given a choice, what would she choose to eat? What do you feed her? Has she been tested for food allergies? How about vitamins? Is she taking any? Have you tested her for yeast? How about bacteria or parasites? How are her stools? Has she taken many antibiotics recently, or in the past? I ask because, and I will generalize here, many times sleep issues, (or non sleeping issues) can be related to yeast. It also creates behavioral issues, tantrums, emotional outbursts. Diet - what would she choose to eat? Many times, the things our kids crave are the very things that aren't good for their bodies - or that they might be allergic or sensitive to. Also, watch out for those good old dyes, especially red dye. I would watch her behavior, particularly after a meal. A reaction of some kind, behavioral in nature, will often times appear quite soon after eating the "offense". Keep a notepad handy. Vitamins - If she is not getting the nutrition from the food she is eating, she may need supplements. To be so tired could be a combination of things, but I would try giving her a good B-Complex. B vitamins not only give energy, but they also help with stress and mood. If she is truly completely exhausted accompanied by any muscle weakness try adding CoQ10 and see if that helps her energy level. You may be able to find a good multi/mineral supplement that contains both. If you need some suggestions of good brands, I would look to brainchildnutritionals.com, spectrumvites.com, kirkmans.com. Also, kids low in magnesium can have trouble sleeping. You might try a nice cup of camomile tea with some Cal/mag stirred in, right before bed. It's calming and will help sleep. Melatonin is another nightime supplement to help her sleep. For us, it is tried and true. If I give 2 sprays, or 1 dropperful right before bed, I know my kids will be asleep within 20 minutes. If you haven't yet done so, you might want to get her vitamins and mineral levels checked thru your doctor and have them test for yeast. This would be where I would start. If you would like to chat further, feel free to send me a message. Best of luck. I hope you and your daughter get some rest soon. And don't forget to take some extra supplements yourself! Extra B will help you get thru this hopefully, short-lived, bump in the road with her. Take Care,
Kris

Jayne - posted on 03/22/2011

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Hi Bethany, my heart goes out to you !,,, my eleven year old son has ADHD and ASD he has sleep problems sleeping only four hrs per night and can't settle to sleep. My consultant has put him on melatonin which is from America it is not legal in this country so is very expensive but very good ! It's all natural ingredients it is legal in AMerica and used lots for jet lag hope this helps Jayne x

Sanjala - posted on 03/22/2011

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If you are a praying woman first of all pray! Ask God for guidance and strength. Does your daughter enjoy the gaming devices? My 8yr old started playing with a gameboy at age 6 and has now graduated to a DSI. This is her go to activity when she is anxious, overwhelmed or frustrated. I always make sure her device and/or, favorite book and snack await her after school in the car. It is a great distraction if I am running errands or just a stress reliever from the days activities at school. She typically does not like to talk after school because she has socialized all day with teachers and peers. I have noticed that when expectations are communicated before a trip to the store, friends house or any activity that my daughter enjoys but must come to an end it is always better tolerated. Let her know her length of time for the visit and ten minutes before time to go make an announcement. Follow up with another announcement of 5 minutes....and never never allot more time due to a demand with a tantrum. My daughter responds to a star reward system. She loves rainbow bomb ice pops. Every Friday if she has maintained 4 starts out of seven she is rewarded an icecream. Whatever your child will respond to whether it be a trip to the dollar store, a playdate with a special friend or a trip to the park use it to your advantage. My daughter usually responds well and it shortens if not completely halts her tantrums or meltdown. You could also use this technique with her wetting situation. Maybe reward for only three accidents in a week and as she meets her goals narrow it down to none. It's not always instant but it works. I know all this is easier said than done but when practiced consistently you will see a difference. You are not alone in your frustrations and worries anyone with a child on the spectrum has their challenges but if you practice patience and pray for strength through the really trying days it will become more of a norm than such a bad day. Praise praise praise your baby when they do accomplish a task such as a smooth ride home and you will see the effort they will start making for you also. Take each day, hour and sometimes minute one at a time and don't forget to breath....God bless, hope this was helpful!

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