Ah sleep. Once you become a parent you realize this is a luxury that most parents do not have. As for kids, there are always times when they do not sleep due to nerves, sickness or excitement. For Michael, I think it is all of the aforementioned that have caused his sleep issues over the years. We would be out of the woods with major issues, and him sleeping in his own bed, to him returning to night waking and coming to my bed to see me, or asking me to lie down with him to fall asleep, or him needing me to be lying down next to him in order to fall asleep at all. A lot of children on the autism spectrum have sleep issues, and Michael is no exception to that rule. But what makes it harder is that I’m one of those people that really REALLY needs to sleep. I can go a few days with limited sleep, but then I blow like a volcano. It’s not pretty. And all the wine, chocolate and massages in the world won’t do what a good night’s sleep can do. And I’ve tried ladies. 🙂
So here I find myself the last few nights grappling with night terrors again. It’s probably due to the change in routine, extra sugar, television and excitement. But it needs to get fixed. We’ve been working with professionals and doing our own version of talking things out with Michael, and it has been hit and miss. I feel the tide will be turning though. Michael is able to communicate better each day, and though the anxiety is getting worse, his coping mechanisms are slowly coming out and getting more sophisticated. He asks for what he needs “I need Qigong. I need to scream, I need to squeeze.” He doesn’t always understand time and place and if others are bothered by his excited screaming. But we’ll get there. I have good days, and bad. I’m learning, and I have great teachers in my Mom friends, with neuro typical and exceptional children alike. Thanks you as always ladies!
My question to all of you Moms out there today is, “how do you deal with your child’s challenging behaviors and not only not lose hope in resolving them, but find the humor in your situation and the life lessons your child is trying to teach you? How do find the joy in your child when they are testing you? It’s hard, but possible. Yesterday was a great day with Michael, but there were peaks and valleys with behaviors and stressful moments. What I try and remember is the gift that he has brought into my life, the gift of teaching me patience, the humor in the most craziest of times, as well as moving on from stressful situations and dealing with things in the moment. It’s the only way to lead life feeling whole and happy. After all, life is nothing if not unpredictable, and that’s what our lives with our exceptional children are. Until next time.