Thursday, December 22, 2011


Sometimes I sit up late with my thoughts, reluctant to fall asleep and leave my thoughts alone by themselves. 

~Robert Brault

Sleep Issues (Part 1)

Where do I start?

Our Autism sleep issues fall in two categories:  1) Falling Asleep; and 2) Staying Asleep.

Topic de jure:  Falling Asleep.

Before Autism was anything more to us than a - it happens to other people but not to us - kind of thing, our Little Man had trouble falling asleep.  I do not really remember when it first started, but it was well before we felt the need to call Early Intervention.  We used to call the little fella "Thunder" since you could usually tell how far he was from sleep by counting the minutes between his giggly, babbly outbursts. 

We tried it all- the cruelly torturous Ferber method; strict bedtime routines; long warm baths; laying next to him, not laying next to him, white noise, silence, long car rides, etc., etc., etc...  We even ventured a try at a melatonin supplement.  Somethings seemed to work for a time, then not so much. No rhyme or reason.

I am now sadly starting to believe that our LM is afraid of the dark, which given his communication impairment, is something he can not tell us.  Why do I think that?  Perhaps it is because of the death grip headlock he puts on my wife or me if we try to roll out of bed  (or as he calls it the "white bed" which is not to be confused with the "blue bed" the "rainbow bed" or the "buzz bed.").

Fortunately or unfortunately for him, he has a father that is somewhat of an insomniac himself.  So I empathize with the fact that when you are not ready to fall asleep - lying alone in the dark sucks!

In any event, I have come to this inescapable conclusion: You do not tell Autism when to sleep.  It tells you when its ready to sleep.   I hereby challenge the SuperNanny to prove me wrong on that!

To think otherwise would cause me to admit that which my wife already knows:  I am insane (in accordance with Einstein's classic definition of insanity).

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