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Autistic grandson waking at night.

(31 Posts)
aquagran Mon 20-Feb-17 22:03:56

My eight year old grandson has started to wake up at night and insists on going into bed with his Mum and Dad. My daughter doesn't want to encourage this, but if he is not allowed, he screams. Not great in the middle of the night, particularly as he has a younger sister. Also it is distressing for all. I know this is not unusual with children on the spectrum, but has anybody out there got any advice please?

Swanny Mon 20-Feb-17 23:40:54

My DGS does this too and mum usually ends up going to his bed and leaving DGS and his dad in the 'big' bed. Not the ideal solution but at least they all get the best sleep they can confused

paddyann Tue 21-Feb-17 00:55:09

my 7 year old grandaughter has been having nightmares since her and her mum moved out of her other granny's house ,I think she just misses gran and grandpa ,but I dont take her into our bed,I'll stand and talk to her for a wee while until she settles ,leave a light on and a book to read or her diary to write in and she's usually fine.I'd never encourage her or indeed my own kids into our bed ..ever .Starts bad habits that cant be easily broken

ninathenana Tue 21-Feb-17 07:17:59

Would your GS settle with earphones and some music or a story. Does he have a night light ?

aquagran Tue 21-Feb-17 09:19:06

Yes, he does have a night light. I know he should be discouraged from coming into Mum's bed, but life with an autistic child is hard enough , let alone trying to cope on little sleep, so I understand your daughter's solution Swanny, and a bit of me thinks they should go for "the easy life" ...that's a joke! He stayed overnight this weekend and slept in a double bed with his sister. No problems, yet I appreciate the relationship is different between Grandparents and DGS and Parents and DGS, and sleeping with his sister on a regular basis is definitely not an option! I did some research on the net last night, always a dangerous thing, and some parents have tried Melatonin with some success. Have any of you heard of this. I don't know if I dare mention it to my daughter! Thanks for your replies, I knew you had a GS on the spectrum Swanny, and judging by media reports in the last couple of years, there must be many of us around!

Swanny Tue 21-Feb-17 09:37:06

aquagran Melatonin is prescribed for our boy and it certainly helps him get off to sleep. Whether he sleeps through till morning is another matter! His parents have just set up a small fish tank with adjustable lighting in his bedroom, in the hope it will help him back to sleep when he wakes, if that makes sense smile

aquagran Tue 21-Feb-17 09:53:37

swanny, I will mention both to my daughter, thanks.

Nana3 Tue 21-Feb-17 10:21:45

aquagran my DGS is 10 and also on the spectrum, he also sleeps better at my house than at home. I keep exactly to his routine and keep the house quiet so he isn't disturbed. He still wears a nappy at night, won't go to bed without one and so needing the toilet in the night doesn't wake him. I'm wondering if this could be the reason your GS wakes up, needing the toilet. Sorry if you've thought of this already.

Swanny Tue 21-Feb-17 10:23:15

aquagran flowers

aquagran Tue 21-Feb-17 10:34:42

A good thought Nana3, but I think toiletting is ok! Do we ever stop worrying?

rosesarered Tue 21-Feb-17 12:12:08

Even with taking melatonin at night my DGS still often wakes up and goes into parents bed (has autism, aged 12) SIL gets up and sleeps in the boy's bed.When staying over with us, Grandpa is ejected to other room and DGS sleeps in with me.They all have high anxiety and poor sleep levels with autism.It is a problem that is hard to solve.

rosesarered Tue 21-Feb-17 12:16:04

Our DGS wore a nappy until he was eight ( all the time!) and one at night until he was 10, and then had self control and never wet the bed.We keep a waterproof on the bed for him in case of accidents, but it's never needed.Wearing a nappy is simply their way of feeling in control, it lessens anxiety, even though they don't physically need one.They will drop the habit themselves when ready.

hildajenniJ Tue 21-Feb-17 13:27:59

My DGS 1 is eight years old, he has Asperger syndrome, his two younger brothers are awaiting diagnosis, both probably on the spectrum. My DD and her husband decided that bedtime was pointless in their house. The children go to bed when they are tired, and get up when they are ready. It makes for a rather strange day. They usually go to bed between 11:00 pm and 01:30 am and get up somewhere around 10:00 and 11:00 am. They are home educated so are not bound by school times, and DD tries to make late appointments with hospitals and dentist ect. It works for them. here's an interesting article that might help.

aquagran Tue 21-Feb-17 15:31:20

Had a chat to a friend at lunch who retold an anecdote about her son after he had had his tonsils out in hospital and was nervous sleeping on his own at home. The doctor asked "Would any other animal leave a scared baby on its own to sleep?" Well, there's the answer!

BlueBelle Tue 21-Feb-17 16:46:56

Why do kids have to be discouraged from sleeping with parents if it's needed it's needed well said that doctor Aquagran If the chap needs comfort give it to him
none of my kids were on the spectrum but we often bed hopped either me in theirs of they in ours I never thought that was a problem you're a mum still after bed time and there's enough scarceness in the world without limiting their one comfort

Crafting Tue 21-Feb-17 17:13:53

Autistic children often have trouble sleeping. A good bedtime routine of winding down, reading, going for a walk or something mind calming may help. Try contacting the autistic society or looking on the internet. Many of us on GN have children with ASD and will sympathise with the problem. Melatonin worked once for my DGC and then didn't work ever again so there is no one rule fixes all. Be gentle, autistic minds work differently, see if he can explain why this has become important to him now. Does he need to be with both mum and dad or will he settle if one of them sleeps in his room. My DGC suddenly developed a real worry about his mum not being with him. See if he can tell you what's wrong.

maddy47 Tue 21-Feb-17 17:38:41

I have two autistic grandsons. The older one is now 13, and goes to bed around 8.30 without being prompted. When he was younger he would go to bed at an appropriate time, but wake up around 4 am and sing loudly and chant, waking everyone up. Now he has an alarm clock in his room and knows he doesn't come downstairs till 6 am, and keeps quiet until then. He's always down on the dot though, and amuses himself on his computer. The youngest one is 5 and is following pretty much the same pattern, except that he likes to come downstairs around 6 and climb into bed with mum & dad. It was funny last time we were down there because we were sleeping in mum & dad's bed. In came DGS at 6, snuggled in next to me and then realised. He disappeared like a rat up a drainpipe!! They're both in mainstream education; the older one is at a great school in Oxford that has a unit, to which he can go and chill if things get stressful.

aquagran Tue 21-Feb-17 18:50:45

I am so grateful for all the help and support you are given to me .

aquagran Tue 21-Feb-17 18:59:25

have given...or!

Deedaa Tue 21-Feb-17 20:42:11

My autistic GS doesn't seem to have problems getting to sleep but he has always talked in his sleep and quite often sleep walks. He went through a spell of getting up at night and peeing in the laundry basket while fast asleep, but fortunately that phase seems to have worn off!

rosesarered Tue 21-Feb-17 20:50:10

grin Deedaa

Nana3 Tue 21-Feb-17 22:32:10

Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry maddy and deeda. Crying a bit now.
We carry on and do the best we can.
flowers for all us Grans.

Greenfinch Tue 21-Feb-17 23:12:31

Our autistic grandson sleeps at our house three times a week.I can hear him upstairs now playing with his lego and still very much wide awake.He will go to sleep soon and then come into our bed about 3 am.We say he must go to sleep in his own bed first and then it is OK to come into ours...The main problem is space. He is nine and likes to sleep spread-eagled !I see nothing wrong with having him with us in bed and only wish I had been less strict with my own children in this respect.He loves to come in and says I feel really cosy in your bed.What more could you ask?

Grandma2213 Wed 22-Feb-17 01:19:53

aquagran - what a wise friend and doctor. I have never understood the obsession our culture has with pushing our children away, autistic or not. My DSs and now DGC come and go from my bed as they want. They all grow out of it eventually!

I admit it must have been easier for me as I was a single parent and had no partner to consider.

My youngest DS did not seem able to sleep at all without some physical human contact either myself or his brothers, until he was over 10 years old. He made me laugh because he would get up in the morning and go back to his own bed accusing me of putting him in mine in the night!

Deedaa Thu 23-Feb-17 20:57:55

At the moment GS1 & 2 sleep in bunk beds. GS1 asked DD if they would still have to sleep in them when they buy a house. She said that not only could they have their own beds, but they could have their own bedrooms. He was appalled! Apparently their idea is that they should sleep in two beds side by side, or better yet in the same bed!