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Help with daughter with autism will not go to bed

(5 Posts)
emmacatt908 Sat 13-Jun-15 16:59:41

My daughter is almost 5, she attends nursery, and it is not unusual for her sleeping pattern to be disrupted when they have a school holiday. My biggest issue since the last holiday is that she has discovered how to climb the safety gate, she moves her room around finding anything to use to stand on and climb over. I've tried taking everything out that she might climb on, but she decided to use her bed cover to get over. I can't take that from her. So I decided to just be persistent, and keep taking her back, but she continues to hurt herself. When in a good sleep routine she slows down with self injurious behaviour. But since her sleeping pattern has been disrupted it has gotten worse again.

I don't know what to do now to get her back into a routine. She is very determined. I don't like the idea of putting a lock on her bedroom door.

Has anyone had any similar problems? Or have any ideas? smile Thank you

ShebaQueen Sat 13-Jun-15 20:37:11

Hi emma, that sounds really difficult. I saw someone on another thread mention an extra high safety gate from Amazon, perhaps that would help?

Does it make any difference if you get her out and about in the fresh air and tire her out with lots of exercise? My eldest is a teenager now and although he isn't autistic he was a terrible sleeper when he was little. I used to make obstacle courses in the garden, take him out on his bike, time him in running races etc. I always found that when he was physically tired he settled much more easily and slept much better.

flowers for you.

Fugghetaboutit Sat 13-Jun-15 20:40:30

Does she sleep well once she's asleep?

SaulGood Sat 13-Jun-15 20:48:45

My niece was terrible with sleep. My brother tried absolutely everything and in the end they were prescribed melatonin supplements which have made a big difference. She still seems to need much less sleep than most children her age and her routine has to be rigidly adhered to for her to sleep at a reasonable time but it has been the biggest improvement they've ever seen.

It seems like a silly question but why is she climbing her stairgate? Where is she going I mean? DNiece was the same and in the end they removed the stairgate, put locks on the kitchen door, locked and bolted external doors and really she could only go in the front room. Once the challenge was removed, she actually tended to stay in her room. She wasn't actually going anywhere, she was seeing the stairgate as a challenge. She was more at risk of hurting herself than if they just removed it.

emmacatt908 Thu 18-Jun-15 11:51:57

Thank you for your replies. Once she sleeps she's brilliant generally. Occasionally she will wake and be awake for a couple over hours between 2 and 5am usually, but this is rare these days. Probably because she won't settle.

I think i will look up the extra high safety gate, I didn't know they exsisted lol. Hopefully that works.

When she wakes she wants to come downstairs mainly, but if she can't she wil go into my sons room and disturb him. This is one of the problems. I don't want him having to suffer disturbance because of the problems we face with her. She has just all of a sudden decided she needs a lot less sleep.

She has a big climbing frame in the garden and she attends nursery. She likes the park and going for walks but she can just keep on going no matter what, I don't know where she gets the energy from. The problem I have trying to get her to egage in more physical activities though is that she loves to draw, she is very caught up in it, and typically autistic in the sense she is hard to engage her in a different activity while she's caught up in something she likes herself.

I have padded up the gate so that she can't hurt herself on it, but she will punch herself in the head, and does it more when she isn't getting enough sleep. She stopped hurting herself as much when she was in a good sleep pattern, now she is hurting herself a lot with tiredness.

Thank you all for advice <3

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