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Getting them to sleep......
  • HannahH29
    Posts: 35
    Any clever strategies/ ideas/ games to get your kids to bed and sleep at night. We have had races, competitions about beating Bat man or Wonder Woman ( I know) timers don’t work as running out of time freaks out my son. We have tried government letters about being in bed by a certain time and even the class teacher ‘ ringing up all the mums to find out what time children are going to bed’ for a competition. Honestly the white lies we have to tell but I actually think it helps to make the transition easier and my son can absolutely deal with the demand much better this way. Nevertheless I am running short on ideas! My son is 5 so still at that marvellous age of believing lots of things ( I dread to think as he gets older). Any ideas or tips would be so helpful!
  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 1,053
    For our daughter we've found that keeping things consistent works much better as even though she doesn't want to go to bed and says she hates bed she understands that after we've had a story and a game of cards this is the next step. It can still be a challenge but we try not to focus on 'it's time for bed' but just gently guide her over, checking she has everything she needs ie drink, teddy, tissue, etc and then when she says she doesn't want to sleep we try the reverse psycology of staying awake.... and say to our daughter ok, you stay awake in your bed and we'll come and check on you after our dinner, no going to sleep now.... and she's asleep within about 10-15mins even if we've had an hours battle beforehand!

    Hopefully others maybe along soon with some more creative ideas too!
  • HannahH29
    Posts: 35
    Thank you so much RhanH for replying, usually my son knows that the routine follows with bedtime after his brothers but that in itself can be a demand so it’s hard. It’s just a minefield at the moment and I’m usually completely flagging my this time and need a break as I am sure everyone feels the same!
  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 1,053
    Yes I feel it’s definitely one of the hardest parts of the day for us.

    Just a thought... have you considered looking forward to something the next day instead, if there is something that wouldn’t increase the anxiety? Maybe this could take the focus away from the difficult part of going to bed and you have a natural reward when he wakes up?
  • HannahH29
    Posts: 35
    Thanks for this RhanH good idea about changing the perspective definately worth trying!
  • bagpuss24
    Posts: 18
    For us, we have tried everything.

    Currently, it seems that a bit of a wind down time before bed helps - reading, watching something on TV that's calming as opposed to get our PDAer hyped up before bed.
    This has helped quite a bit with us.

    Though - as mentioned above; keeping things constant, familiar and to a routine helps a great deal too.
    Usually, we'd read together and following that - it was time to go to sleep.

    We have found that these strategies actually working are based around the Day our son has had, and also what's coming up on the next day.
    Normally when tests are planned at school - there is more anxiety - which increases as that day gets closer - and our son finds it harder to focus, is very restless, erractic and can't sleep.
  • June67
    Posts: 719
    Haven't solved this one yet. This is got worse at October half term and he decided to go to sleep on the sofa it refused to be carried up to bed. Wont be left alone so I rest on the armchair. Can t even z Sam up to bed as be wakes frequently. At least we get some sleep. Although my back craves .my bed.
  • Kallie79
    Posts: 23
    I'm typing this at 3am.
    I've had the mother of all battles to get my son to bed earlier. I'm absolutely done in and feel like crying.
    He knows he is back to school on Monday so this is why he would not settle last night. It was after 1 am that I finally got him to sleep. He was in meltdown mode but not the aggressive type this time. It was the silly type this time. He does this if highly strung. Thrashing around the bed, making silly noises, jumping out of bed and running around. I'm shattered and cannot sleep now cause I'm too upset. Christ knows what's he's going to be like tonight as there's school tomorrow.
    Any tips I'm all ears guys.
    Thanks for reading.
  • bagpuss24
    Posts: 18
    We still haven't solved this one yet!!
    Though schools have broken up - we have two weeks of our PDAer getting up exceptionally early and wanting someone to go downstairs with him.

    He won't go down or upstairs on his own.
    His anxieties are one thing, but the other side of that tale is a topic of it's own - and many wouldn't believe. (Cahms response was amusing- bless them).

    However- we are getting braced for the return to school in 2 weeks time; knowing that roughly by the last Friday/Saturday/Sunday of the holidays, we will be constantly treading on egg shells - have the sudden demands - such as "I want to play football outside" (when it's dark outside) and then the meltdowns.
    Then come Monday - out and out School Refusal.

    On Friday, our sons Teacher explained that she "understood" if he was late in on the first day back.

  • Holly59
    Posts: 2,570

    Kallie79 said:

    I'm typing this at 3am.
    I've had the mother of all battles to get my son to bed earlier. I'm absolutely done in and feel like crying.
    He knows he is back to school on Monday so this is why he would not settle last night. It was after 1 am that I finally got him to sleep. He was in meltdown mode but not the aggressive type this time. It was the silly type this time. He does this if highly strung. Thrashing around the bed, making silly noises, jumping out of bed and running around. I'm shattered and cannot sleep now cause I'm too upset. Christ knows what's he's going to be like tonight as there's school tomorrow.
    Any tips I'm all ears guys.
    Thanks for reading.


    Hi,
    School must start using PDA stratagies . This will help reduce the anxiety , this has a massive effect on sleep . The support of a good OT will help reduce the anxiety and give him and you techniques to support .
    There are all sorts of alternatives like flexi schooling with Recovery Time . Altering hours to suit .
    Will PM you . It would really help if there was a placement at a Specialist school , they sometimes try the Wilton Centre at Hawick for a few days plus the local Primary School .
    Would defiantly , if you haven’t already get the Cllr I suggested on board . Sleep affects so many on the Spectrum . Have you tried your GP and see if there is a possibility of medication ?

    Ask for an emergency MAC meeting at school . Explain the situation what’s happening due to the extreme anxiety . Don’t forget you don’t need a diagnosis it’s needs based in Scotland .

    What he will pick up on is your body language . If he sees you tired , anxious he will pick up on it . This is the hard part looking and acting as cool as a cucumber yourself . I have found lavender plug ins , plug in night lights , negiatating bed times , black out blinds , do help .

    If you could encourage the Additional Needs Assistants , Teacher who support your child to attend Laura Kerbeys training course in Edinburgh in June that would be great .

    Will PM you xx


  • HannahH29
    Posts: 35
    Thank you so much to everyone for your responses, even just to know that others are going through the same. Kallie I feel for you, my son is younger and not got quite to the same stage your son has, it must be so draining every night. Stay strong, we are here because we are strong warrior mums who know our kids better than anyone, even though every day I feel like I can’t do anything right.

    Bagpuss, I definately get the silly stuff before bedtime, from about 4pm onwards it is hell in our house where my son is nothing but antagonistic, confrontational and provoking. Sometimes it ends in meltdown but now we are getting better at descalating it before it gets there! Things have definately been better when not at school. I know my son has significant sensory issues and he admitted to me he can’t go to sleep because he gets the ‘ jiggles’. Every day we are running an extensive sensory diet just to help him get these jiggles out! Still every night I get the same thing- floppy, won’t get up, lift him and he flops back down, won’t respond to any cajoling , he is seeing through the tricks I use now as I’ve probably used them too much! ‘ Fallling in the lava’ ‘ feet won’t work’ and then just general playing around being silly when I do get him to his bedroom. Having said that, as he’s 5 he is easier to manage than what others are going through. I’m in to him up to 5 times in the night where his anxiety gets the better of him and he can’t be alone.

    Anyone else’s children with PDA afraid to go anywhere alone? My son won’t even go to his own room ( even though it’s superhero themed and SO relaxing with sensory aids) won’t go to toilet alone. He now won’t let his dad bring him anything, it’s only me and he demands it NOW! If his dad touches anything ( like a drink) i have to take it back out and remake and bring back again myself ( despite the fact he adores his dad). I wonder if it makes it easier or at least it controls some element of the demand- even a bodily function like eating drinking or toileting. Sorry not a sleep issue and sorry for long post but the holidays have been easier in one way ( less coke bottle effect after school) but more stressful in others.

    Xx
  • Kallie79
    Posts: 23

    HannahH29 said:

    Thank you so much to everyone for your responses, even just to know that others are going through the same. Kallie I feel for you, my son is younger and not got quite to the same stage your son has, it must be so draining every night. Stay strong, we are here because we are strong warrior mums who know our kids better than anyone, even though every day I feel like I can’t do anything right.

    Bagpuss, I definately get the silly stuff before bedtime, from about 4pm onwards it is hell in our house where my son is nothing but antagonistic, confrontational and provoking. Sometimes it ends in meltdown but now we are getting better at descalating it before it gets there! Things have definately been better when not at school. I know my son has significant sensory issues and he admitted to me he can’t go to sleep because he gets the ‘ jiggles’. Every day we are running an extensive sensory diet just to help him get these jiggles out! Still every night I get the same thing- floppy, won’t get up, lift him and he flops back down, won’t respond to any cajoling , he is seeing through the tricks I use now as I’ve probably used them too much! ‘ Fallling in the lava’ ‘ feet won’t work’ and then just general playing around being silly when I do get him to his bedroom. Having said that, as he’s 5 he is easier to manage than what others are going through. I’m in to him up to 5 times in the night where his anxiety gets the better of him and he can’t be alone.

    Anyone else’s children with PDA afraid to go anywhere alone? My son won’t even go to his own room ( even though it’s superhero themed and SO relaxing with sensory aids) won’t go to toilet alone. He now won’t let his dad bring him anything, it’s only me and he demands it NOW! If his dad touches anything ( like a drink) i have to take it back out and remake and bring back again myself ( despite the fact he adores his dad). I wonder if it makes it easier or at least it controls some element of the demand- even a bodily function like eating drinking or toileting. Sorry not a sleep issue and sorry for long post but the holidays have been easier in one way ( less coke bottle effect after school) but more stressful in others.

    Xx



    Hi Hannah
    Yes . My son won't go to the toilet himself at home or even through to the kitchen for a drink. I have to go with him. He's recently become very very socially awkward as well. He won't go to birthday parties or the play park incase any of his school friends are there. Had a huge meltdown in Tesco one day cause he saw a boy from his class there with his mum . It's so bloody frustrating.
    I know what you're dealing with honestly.
    Xx
  • bagpuss24
    Posts: 18
    Thank you for the replies and comments.
    This time last year; we were thinking that it was just "us" and our son who was experiencing this.
    Having not heard of PDA, we look at everything - from Aspergers, ADHD, PDD even our own parenting (as I would think everyone else here has also).
    Finding out about PDA - and this site; it was a "click" moment.

    As commented above; the School putting in strategies - has helped in a big way.

    Thanks to this site/forum, we now know, that we aren't alone - and in some cases, things can be worse than our own situation.

    Our son also will not go to toilet on his own; or even go to the kitchen - he always "demands" our eldest son goes for him.....


  • June67
    Posts: 719
    Hi all we too have all those issues with the toilet, being alone in a room, who makes drinks, which cup etc. I have slept one night in a bed since October when our PDAer decided to fall asleep downstairs and refused to be carried up to bed. (The one night when he attended a sleepover with a school friend.) Some of these thing we just have to put up with for now as he can make changes gradually when in the right frame of mind e.g. he got dressed by himself the other day while I was in the shower as he had a friend coming over and didn't want to be caught in his pjs. A small step but it maybe repeated. He has made changes and is now able to tolerate drinks in a variety of cups/glasses and is not often having tantrums if dad accidentally uses his milk glass and no longer insists on his food on a blue plastic picnic plate. I've worked out he just needs to be ready to let certain things go and does this when he is at low anxiety levels. Surprisingly he has managed well with husbands recent illness but has had his new birthday presents to immerse himself in when it gets too much for him I think, a safe distraction space I suppose.
  • HannahH29
    Posts: 35
    Oh June that sounds so exhausting not being able to sleep properly, our son calls me in several times in the night but mostly can be soothed back to sleep, some nights I have to stay with him. His dad slept with him in a single bed for 6 months ( his dad is 6ft!) until he cracked and we had to buy a new bed/ try a load of things ( mostly bribery) to get him to sleep without him. It is so reassuring to hear that others have the same difficulty with demands placed upon parents and need for specific cups/ plates- we definately have this. My son will only drink carton juice atm which is expensive but it’s saves arguments. One other thing- when he is done drinking said carton of juice or brushing teeth ( which he is surprisingly ok with but I just hand it to him and don’t speak) he then throws the carton/ toothbrush etc on the floor. Even when I remind him to hand it to me or even place on table etc, he just can’t. It’s like he’s throwing away the demand and expectation to have to get up and put it in the bin. He has also just been given glasses for a bad astigmatism and long sightedness and refuses to wear these- he will only wear them at school and only when he has gone inside the classroom and not before. Sorry to go on, it’s just exactly as you have said bagpuss- we have long thought that it was us, or just that’s the way things are with kids and a phase he will grow out of.

    Just one thing I’ve been researching with regards to food/ bodily needs and demands for me to come to toilet with him/ bring drinks ( our son won’t even employ manners he just shouts ‘HUNGRY!!’ in an aggressive manner much to the annoyance of his dad until I bring him something. It looks like he has never been taught any manners whatsoever! I have read about interception and this being the body’s ability to recognise hunger thirst and bodily functions. It can be impaired in children on the spectrum and I definately think so in my son. When he has a meltdown, it is almost always triggered by hunger or thirst. But I think he doesn’t know how to recognise this early on, like when we have the early warning signs but he doesn’t get it until he feels really really hungry. This is a demand to him and so he can manage this by adding some control upon me ( I think, I mean I could be reading too much into it- who knows but I’m trying to find something that might help us manage and understand it).

    Thank you so much for all your input, this forum helps me so much when everyone else ( apart from my mum and husband) struggle to understand this xx
  • HannahH29
    Posts: 35
    I think is spelt interoception!

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