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Autistic child cant sleep since starting school

(11 Posts)
Banjax Sat 21-Oct-17 22:44:48

My son is 4.5 and has just started school. He is in the middle of the diagnostic process for Autism at the moment so does not have a formal diagnosis yet.

In the past two weeks he has become unable to sleep - so he's gone from sleeping from 7pm or so to being wide awake at 11pm. Hes retty desperate to sleep and is lying there staring at the walls. ive tried bedtime changes, bath, no bath, music, massage, heavyish supper, mindfulness, deep beathing. I feel so bad for him. We have a doc appointment on monday but I am desperate for him to get some sleep in. He's very clever (reading age of 7 and fascination with maths) and says his brain wont switch off.

Do you know why this is happening? The only other child in his class who has recently developed sleep difficulties is autistic. why does this happen? Id feel better if i could understand it.

Is the GP likely to prescribe melatonin without a dx?

zzzzz Sun 22-Oct-17 07:42:05

I don’t think the GP can prescribe melatonin, it needs a consultant. Both my boys struggle with sleep. Try vitamins in the morning and Epsom salts in a warm early bath after school. It seems to calm the racing brain feeling.

Banjax Sun 22-Oct-17 07:49:37

thankyou - which vitamins pls? he takes b, c and D every morning.
Weve been up since 530, hes so desperately tired and so goodnatured about it.

zzzzz Sun 22-Oct-17 07:55:57

We use a liquid one from Tesco’s. It’s just standard multivitamin (nb if I give it after mid day he can’t sleep, so we have it at breakfast). The important bit for ds is the Epson salt in the bath. It’s used by athletes to relax after training and rich in magnesium which is absorbed through the skin. Ds doesn’t have the greatest diet so it may be we see a bigger impact than most would. (I get it on line but it’s £1 a pot in boots so you could just try it and see without too much investment)

Banjax Sun 22-Oct-17 08:14:24

Thanks, this is very helpful. I actually had a bath with epsom salts when I was really stressed about it a couple of days ago. I find baths over stimulate him though - he absolutely loves water.

nad79 Sun 22-Oct-17 08:38:31

Hi my son has a diagnosis of ASD and since starting school his sleep is all over the place. He doesn't stop talking about numbers and everything he is learning. He wakes in the night and then just goes off on one doing sums!
Apparently it's normal and will settle over time. That's what the teachers say.
I give him an antihistamine sometimes, about once a week if he is really really tired. It does help him sleep but it's not ideal. That's why I do it sparingly.
Good luck, hope he sleeps for you soon.

OneInEight Sun 22-Oct-17 09:27:43

ds2 is older but has had very erratic sleep patterns over the last couple of years. It may be coincidence but we have seen a big improvement since giving him daily vitamins too.

TwoBobs Mon 23-Oct-17 10:14:27

Yep, this happened to us but in year 2. Autistic child suddenly went from going to sleep 7-7 to being up until 11 and then slowly creeping up to 1-2 am over an 18 month period until we got Melatonin. I listed the 36 different things I'd tried to induce sleep over the course of 18months including all of the things you've listed. They'd work for 2-3 days and then it would go back to late bedtime. My child said the same "my body's tired but my mind isn't".
The only thing that has worked has been Melatonin prescribed by the paediatrician. We begged for it for the whole family's sanity. It's been like a gift from the Gods!
The first night she said "it's weird, I actually feel tired!"
Apparently antihistamines like Piriton syrup can induce sleep. Our GP suggested we use that. People will say cherry juice too but my child would not drink it.

TwoBobs Mon 23-Oct-17 10:20:26

Our paediatrician prescribed Melatonin BEFORE diagnosis but that was after the 2nd time of seeing them. They did a 'wait and see' approach and made us wait another 6 months, by which time I was in tears and begging for Melatonin for my sanity and my child's mental health - focus on that when you ask for it. Say it's affecting your child's ability to function on a day to day basis.

zzzzz Mon 23-Oct-17 10:32:27

We don’t find melatonin very helpful. It gives ds vivid dreams which he struggles to separate from real life. Only if used daily though so what I do is use it sporadically.

Banjax Sun 29-Oct-17 16:53:33

Hi, OP here. I went to the doctor for advice - she had none, really.

I am giving him 2 bananas every night and a bowl of porridge for supper (both are natural sources of melatonin).

This has done the trick, he is now sleeping from 8pm to 7am, which is acceptable although I'd rather he reverted to his 12 hours sleeps.

just wanted to come back in case anybody else is having same difficulty. Thanks everybody for your comments, and i wish you all great sleeps smile

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