Monday, April 8, 2013

Autism Awareness #6 - Sleep Troubles

Sleep is awesome.  Especially in a good bed.  I love a good night's rest but I probably don't get as much on a nightly basis as a doctor would suggest.  That's nothing, though, compared to what some people on the autism spectrum deal with.  A 2009 study by the University of Pennsylvania Schools of Nursing and Medicine and the Center for Autism Research in Philadelphia (see the study here) showed that somewhere between 60% - 75% of kids with autism have sleep problems.  Holy cow.

Unfortunately, my son is one of them.  It's not uncommon for us to find him wide awake 2-3 hours after he's gone to bed.  We've tried lots of things - meds, quite reading, daily exercise, etc.  Sometimes things are succesful and sometimes not.  When I'm heading to bed and I check on him, I sometimes ask "What are you thinking about?"  Invariably, he can't answer.  I'm hopeful that will change as I've heard from other parents that this sort of thing played out with them as well.

You, your spouse, friends, or co-workers all may struggle at one point or another with lack of sleep.  Remember how it impacted you.  Keep that in mind when interactiving with someone who has a social and communication disorder.  Talk about having the cards stacked against you sometimes.

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