over and over and over again…those are the words we keep repeating to our 5-year-old son when he just doesn’t want or can’t go to sleep. Not sure if it works or if he just gets tired of us saying, “It’s time to sleep” and knocks off, but the point of the post is to reiterate how important it is to be consistent not just 50% of the time…even 75% of the time…but at least 95% of the time (you thought I was going to say 100% of the time–but we all know that that’s not possible right?). Children with autism need that repetition constantly and if you really think about it, even us “typical” people out there are creatures of repetition and habit and we like that…when you have meetings at work, where do you sit in the conference room? I would bet you sit in the same exact seat (if available and new intern didn’t take it) that you normally do–I know that’s what I do. Our son is not a very good sleeper. He will go weeks and months on a crazy sleep pattern and then he’ll do great and we think we’re making progress, and we are, but it’s the same old…three steps forward, two steps backward…that is so common with children and families with children with autism.
So this week we’re saying, “It’s time to sleep…it’s time to sleep” over and over to him–for one because we hope it soothes him and the other is that if we go in there and start talking to him and letting him partake in a conversation, then he’s “won” and he’ll get all riled up again and we’ll have to start all over.
Look, it’s not perfect–it works a lot of the time but not always and we have to go to his room countless times on some nights…but the repetition and soothing and not giving him the attention that he’s looking for by staying up…somehow, some way–it seems to work.
And now, it’s time to sleep