Autistic son does not sleep!!!

Kimberly - posted on 11/11/2009 ( 28 moms have responded )

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My son is autistic and eight years old. For some reason lately he has not slept past 4am. Usually it is much earlier then that but 4 is the latest. He will be fine the rest of the day while the rest of the family is dragging. Is there any suggestions on any thing that will help him sleep or if some one out there is going through this or has gone through this can help with any advice. Thanks in advance....

A very tired momma

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Stephanie - posted on 12/30/2009

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I see alot of people use melatonin which is a natural herb bought over the counter. My child is way past that and clonadine. I know exactly what you all have gone thru and my child with out is medicine dosed correctly and checked every three months. I can bet you he will not sleep he is like an alarm clock we do everything everyday the same never changing. When you alter it you send there brains into total turmo. No drug or over the counter medicine is going to work. Triston was three when he stoped sleeping and when I say stoped sleeping he did not shut his eyes for almost three weeks. No one could help me I was a wreck. Finally the sparks clinic at UAB told me what and how I was going to have to do it. My regular pediatric doc helped me with his medicine and finally he slept. He said that when they stop sleeping it causes them to have a break down. Of course so do we. I know each child is different and I know life is hard. I have a husband who works off shore 1 month on 2 weeks off. I have two handicap children work full time as a rest manager and i am a full time student.Family all live in Florida. I am grateful for the things I have and it could always be worse.

Heather - posted on 11/13/2009

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My son is disabled and has sleeping issues. We also use melatonnin, make sure he has a busy day, and I actually made him a weighted blanket to sleep w at night. He really needs the feedback the weight gives him to sleep.I can give you instructions if you're interested

Deanna - posted on 12/22/2009

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Hello Kimberly,
Not sure if you have tried anything yet to get your son to sleep. I have a 3 year old son with autism. He requires very little sleep also. We tried the melatonin ( both the regular and slo-release) and that only seemed to wire him up more and made him very restless. After talking with our specialist about our sleep problems, he has our son on GABBA and Inositol. We order both products through KIRKMAN labs. He gets his doses in the evening and in about 1- 2 hours, he is calm and falls to sleep. We also noticed that, in our case, he is calmer during the day and much more pleasant.
Good luck !!!

Ljubica - posted on 11/18/2009

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Hi there,

I'm a pharmacy instructor and a marketing exec for a health and wellness company, maybe I can help.

Melatonin is something the body naturally produces and it regulates sleep/wake cycles. You can purchase melatonin in pharmacies and grocery stores as well as health food stores (you pay more money there).

The next one I like and give to my son is called Valarian root. It's been used for centuries for insomnia and has a calming affect on ADHDers. I give this to my little guy in the morning to calm him and in the evening to help him sleep.

Avoiding carbonated beverages (I know, they're kids, and kids love pop) helps a lot too. Winding down with some cammomile tea is a routine for my boy and I every evening.



If you have questions about drugs or supplements, feel free to use me.



Lou

Iridescent - posted on 01/21/2010

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My son is also autistic and doesn't sleep much. He functions better than we do on the amount of sleep he gets! Since he was about 3, we'd allow him to get up at night and watch the weather channel and such. He could handle doing some things on his own. We had to lock the door on the inside so he couldn't get outside on his own, but that's a minor issue. Now that he's 10, he can entertain himself when he's awake and the rest of us are sleeping. The best I can offer is teaching coping - unless there are other needs, there is no reason he should need to have someone else awake with him at all times. You can make a room safe, or the whole house, whatever is required. Even with autism a lot of skills can be learned/taught.

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Aderian - posted on 12/10/2013

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Hi Andrea,
I can relate to your situation totally. I just want you to know that with hard work and patience, there is hope. There are many things that you can try that may change the behaviors of your children over time. Dieting and therapy will help a great deal. My son Solomon is 11 years old and was diagnosed when he was about 2 years old. I have struggled over the years with his behaviors which over time became very violent. Every one in my house hold suffers mentally and physically from his constant meltdowns. For years he has been seeing a neurologist who ask a few questions and suggest that he needs to be placed in a special school environment in which was never approved by his local school district. Shame on them for depriving children their right to the education that will most fit their needs. I finally got fed up with them after two filings of due process hearings. They just didn't have his best interest in favor so I decided to just pull him out of the chaotic school environment that was making him even more stressed and anxious, in efforts to home school him myself. I have been a stay at home mom since about 2008 and have been home schooling my son since 2010. Even though he is more comfortable at home, I feel that he is lacking the education that he truly deserves. He has learned so much with me at home because I take the time that he needs to learn necessary task. The public school was lacking the ability to offer him one on one help. The schools also don't take the time to learn how the children react to certain ways of teaching and their potential otherwise once given the opportunity to take their time to express themselves correctly. My son Solomon had a hard time retaining information for a while. I would repeat everything to him constantly until I felt he got it but then after a few days he would then show me that he really hasn't retained the information correctly. I thought that I was just a horrible teacher but it turns out that my son was suffering a while from leaky gut and brain fog. This all comes from the food they eat. Sugar, preservatives, diary, gluten etc. all play a major part in this destruction of their fragile bodies and brains. After my husband and I drove clear across the United States from New Jersey to California to see a doctor about my son health, we now knew we had hope and real help from someone that really cared about our child just like we did. Biomedical treatment can save your child from many painful problems that may be causing them to act out in behavior. Sometimes they cannot control themselves. My advice to you is to find a DAN Doctor. (Defeating Autism Now Doctor). You can google some in your area. Andrea I have so much I can tell you since I have been researching autism for the last 5 years. I will get back to you with additional information that will help you. Hang in there.

Now positive mother

Andrea - posted on 11/04/2013

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Both my kids 1 is 3 in March an the other 4 this upcoming January. I know there autistic without need to test. One my husband is autistic I have mild as well with more disorders them my husband but mutually we have learning disabilities. Even worse. Anyways mines so bad I shut off all water at night now after the kids flooded my kitchen waking up after 2am an I have to lock chairs away an my fridge up or they throw food fights through out the house. Eggs in one incident everywhere. Mind you my 3 year old has melt Downs that could break glass when she does she will be in her room for a good half he 45 minutes at a time just uncontrollable. She got stiff crying an screaming once when when I had to put her safetly in her room. She bites herself an people an leaves marks. Her an her brother avoid playing with other kids an do not share they fight any kid there around. An they have both lost skills to things they knew. Both didn't talk till after 2 years old. My son I noticed his at 18 months he was banging his head off walls an doors for no reason he never felt pain. He always made noises but never words when he wanted things. An his meltdowns have come to banging body parts legs an arms off the floor now. He's defient to authority doesn't listen always lines up toys an is obsessed with toys an gore he's abnormal in so many ways its scary. Its taking a toll on my husband an I. My daughter an her melt Downs especially. One time we lost her blanket at a store an she gave a blood curlding scream for 1 he until we got back an got it. My son was the same way with his bears. He rubs his bears on his face its a sense of comfort with him. Neither of them either will let me clip there nails its a wrestling match of my husband an me an one kid at a time. I plan to have them tested asap to get help that's needed. My mother in law an teachers at ecfe an friends all say they are sure as I am there both autistic. I am heart broken but I'm not giving them up because of it I will do whatever I need to help them.

Libby - posted on 05/06/2010

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My son is 6 years old and is autistic. We had tons of trouble with our boy until I designed a bed tent for him. Since then, he's actually enjoyed going to bed at night and falls asleep easliy and more importantly, safely. It works so well, that I started a company named Ready, Set, Bloom, LLC. and named the bed tent after my son, Nick. It's called the Nickel bed tent and I think so many parents and their special children out there would benefit from this to help them all get a good night's sleep. You can see a picture of it and learn more on my website. www.myreadysetbloom.com. My hope is to help families just like ours sleep through the night knowing their child is safer at night. Hope this helps!!!!

Heidi - posted on 01/21/2010

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I loved the idea of the weighted blanket. I also wanted to say that music helped calm my son and put him to sleep as did increased exercise during the day making sure his heart rate was elevated, and massage.

Geraldine - posted on 12/31/2009

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Hiya, just a wee piece of advice for ya, melatonin is my life saver, my 9 yr old has ADHD, is on a very low dose of ritalin....for school.. but needs very little sleep, shes on melatonin, and she knows it helps her get to sleep, and asks for it every night, it is my life saver cos my 6 year old has Autism and wont go to sleep before 12, hes content to lye in his bed but when shes restless its hectic with them both..i would really and truly get to the doc and chat about melatonin and ur options and see if u can get it.. believe me it will make the bedtime routine much easier... Good Luck..

Melanie - posted on 12/29/2009

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I went through that with mine, but he was much younger and it was every two hours, sometimes he would last til about 4am. He would not take naps and still be up before the rest of us. I tried every holistic method out there.. and nothing! Finally his neurologist put him on Clonadine.. it's been our families cure for restful sleep ever since. I am praying he eventually becomes more active to the point that his own exhaustion keeps him sleeping and sometimes it does.. but for now he is on .1mg of clonadine a night...

Bobbie - posted on 12/29/2009

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"Without prying too much I would suggest speaking to your doctor about the possibility of giving him something to help him sleep. My son takes melatonin, which you can buy over the counter and it helps him get to sleep. He would stay up all night if he didn't take it."
I also gave Melatonin to help the kids I took care of to help them sleep. Do ask your doctor and see if it will be safe for you to give any meds to your son and what doses you can give, good luck.

Lois - posted on 12/27/2009

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This might sounds simple and not the kinda answer that you are looking at, but I ever tried to 'drain the energy' for my son when he was younger at 4 plus and it seems to work, let him to some physically draining activity (playground) around late afternoon before dinner and after a heavy meal he falls asleep quite well...

Theresa - posted on 12/19/2009

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I understand. My son is 23. We've been through it all. My son listens to christian music. It calms him down. I don't know if you are a christian, but praying over him always helped. Have you tried bendaryl? God bless you.

Melody - posted on 12/18/2009

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All I am going to say is good luck! My 10 year old is autistic and doesn't sleep! It is a VERY rare occassion when he does, we have tried EVERYTHING! And yes I mean EVERYTHING!!! If anyone out there has any pointers please please share!

Ericka - posted on 11/18/2009

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My son is 11 ADHD, cognitve impaired, ocd. He never slept either from the time he was a little peanut. A few years back we also put him on melatonin. Worked wonderful at first,

then his body just got used to it we guess. He now takes clonidine it is a RX. But it does work. He gets a full night sleep. 7:00 gets meds & at7:30 no tv and gets teeth brushed and ready for bed. In bed before 8pm and books put away at 8pm. By 8:45 usually he is out like a light. Makes getting up in the morning for school so much better.

Good luck to you!!!

Augustina Kusumawardhani - posted on 11/18/2009

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Dear Kimberly,
I have the same experience with my autistic son, his name is Adam (12 years old). He is always makes day as night and night like day, just like your son. I found him sleep at noon and wake up all night long. It make all of us interrupted.
Then I make a little research with my husband and found him that Adam will be like this when he has not enough activity at daylight, and got a lot of rules that he does not like. He change his activity time unusually.
After we discuss this trouble to some people, we decide to always makes him happy with his physical activity and trying to makes him tired, then he can sleep well at night as the other sons and daughter. Now he walks from home to the school (vice versa) which is 1 kilometers long from home, singing & dancing with his sister & brothers at evening, or doing another physical activity in fun.
Try to make your son tired with full of physical activity rather than using any drugs or supplements.
Regards,
Augustine-Indonesia

Marcella - posted on 11/15/2009

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I know how you feel and first and foremost pray for patience .....I had the same problem my child is 4 and also has speratic sleep. Ask your pediatrician what might be the best solution and please check all side affects of this with whatever other health risks your child might have but from one mother to another I went online researched and asked my pediatrician about it first and found liquid melatonin drops ( if your child can swallow the natural supplement it can be found at your local drug store vitamin section) (make sure it is only melatonin no other things mixed with it) It is a natural supplement to help the body produce the hormone so it can fall asleep. I only use half the smallest dose because she is so small this helps with the falling asleep but not staying asleep she will sometimes wake up after4- 6 hours but now only if she is not feeling well or cold I don't use the melatonin as much any more as it seems to have regulated a natural patttern in her hope this helps.... and I know that this sounds horrible but sometimes when she is awake in the middle of the night I just learn to sleep with the tv on and let her watch her favorite shows or movies she falls asleep eventually other nights she just prefers to look at the same books over and over again and I just turn on the light till she falls asleep the good thing is that she won't travel all over the house and I know that that is a issue with some parents so you'll want to make sure the house is very child proofed if you are comfortable sleeping with him awake Good luck

Michele - posted on 11/14/2009

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My son is also autistic and rarely sleeps. I usually will give him 3 mg of melatonin. It works fabulous and we all get some sleep. I use it at least once a week when needed. if your son gets up at 4 am i would use the time released melatonin or he will still wake at 4am. =0)

Melanie - posted on 11/14/2009

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have you tried the natural drug Melatoin i had to put my autistic son on it to help him sleep

Donna - posted on 11/14/2009

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When my son was little, he's now 26 years old, he was a terrible sleeper. I guess he is still, but he let's us sleep and doesn't get into trouble on his own. One thing we tried and worked for a while was to get him a bed tent. This was a little "pup tent" that fit over his twin mattress. It seems to provide a greater sense of security by being enclosed completely. We tried different medications, prescription and over-the-counter, and none of those really helped.

Carla - posted on 11/12/2009

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i have been through this with my own 8yr old son who has autism. I find that if i just let him lie there in bed there are times when he will fall back to sleep on his own, and at other time he will just stay awake. my doctor told me to try and give him benadryl at night to help him sleep it was helping for a little bit, but after a while it did nothing. Unless your son is a wanderer, I would not worry about it. I am used to this my son has been doing it since he was two yrs old.

Maggie - posted on 11/12/2009

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You guys are in a better position than me on this problem, never heard of melatonin but will be looking it up - my daughter and grandson just might appreciate knowing about it. Good luck to all, will be looking to hear how you get on.

Melanie - posted on 11/12/2009

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I agree with lisa. I enede up having to give our son melatonin to help him sleep because he usually got up at 4, sometimes would wake up all through the night. Melatonin is safe as it is a natural substance and there are no side effects. Speak to you doctor about it xx

[deleted account]

I was just going to suggest what the other moms have. My son is 7yrs old and has Asperger's. He has had trouble sleeping since he was a baby. We use melatonin. You give it to your child for 1-2 wks then go a wk without. It is natural and our kiddos just dont produce enough melatonin to help them.

Maggie - posted on 11/12/2009

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Hi...this is a very familiar story. My grandson, now16years old, who has Aspberger syndrome (and a few other related issues) was/is the very same worst time was from 4 years to 12years and my daughter was continually tired until she accepted he just didn't need sleep so she worked on strategies to keep him busy - especially through the night. However he is much better now he is older, especially if he has a very heavy busy day he will sleep through the night. Mind you if he gets on his xbox night just doesn't exist but then it doesn't for other people either in thatcase. Diet helps but he isn't on medication. We are now worrying about his future and where he goes from here.
I hope you have a good network of friends and family to help you out and give you a break, however Troy was never happy away from his own house but that's something you can work on. Praying for strength and understanding for you.

Carla - posted on 11/11/2009

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Very tired momma,
I have 3 autistic children... NONE of them sleep good. My oldest daughter she is 6 takes forever to get to sleep even with meds, but once she is asleep she is down for the night. My middle child she is almost 5 and she can sleep 2 hours and go all day long... she also takes meds to help her sleep and still there is days she will be up all night long, YES it does get rough!, now my little man he is almost 2 . He goes to sleep wonderfully at night ... but with in 3-4 hours he wakes up for no reason, and will be up some times 4-5 hours. Yes all 3 children take melatonin, yes my girls also takes medicine prescribed by the doctor to help sleep, and still no sleep. Good luck this has been going on for years my middle girl this is going on close to 3 years now. No none of my children takes naps. My suggestion please get all the rest you can when ever possible! Good Luck!
My2Sweet

Lisa - posted on 11/11/2009

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Without prying too much I would suggest speaking to your doctor about the possibility of giving him something to help him sleep. My son takes melatonin, which you can buy over the counter and it helps him get to sleep. He would stay up all night if he didn't take it.

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