Those of you who’ve been following my blog for a while probably know about the extensive sleeping problems of our V and how they’ve been affecting the family. As explicitly explained in my post Autism Sleeping Problems, my husband and I have practically not had a night off together in months since one of us has been stuck in the bedroom, trying to get the little gorilla boy to sleep – without much luck! It wasn’t unusual that he was still awake at 11 pm after more than three hours of “Lie down!”, “Stop playing and go to bed… now!”, “Stop standing on your head!” (see video below), and “Honey, will you just please fall asleep now! PLEASE!!!”. It has been a nightmare!
As those of you know who’ve been following my blog for some time, our little V has had sleeping problems for a long while. But it has never been as bad as the past few months. As mentioned in my post Autism Sleeping Problems, it is rather common for children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) to experience problems related to sleep. Some have trouble falling asleep while others have trouble sleeping. In V’s case it’s the falling asleep part that has been problematic, as it usually takes him up to 3 hours to surrender to drowsiness and fall asleep. And since one adult has to sit with him until that happens, the situation is far from ideal for us, his parents, and for him. So, we decided to try something entirely different.
We have been struggling with V’s sleeping patterns for almost two years now. And he is only 2 years and 8 months old! As an infant, we did not notice anything different, he basically did what every infant does; he slept, ate, pooped, slept, ate, pooped, slept, ate… you get the picture! When he was about 9 months old we started teaching him to fall asleep alone. We used the same “super nanny” methods we had used on JA but they did not seem to work. He just jumped up and down in his crib – sometimes for hours – without falling asleep. We did not know what to do but as long as he was happily playing in his crib and eventually fell asleep on his own, we were not too concerned. The problems started for real when he turned two and became too big for his crib.