A Hard Week

For the past week, I feel like Oliver has been crying 24/7, literally. I haven’t had more then 5 minute intervals of sleep at all because he’s been screaming in his sleep. He screams all day and hasn’t been speaking or signing, like he does here and there on typical days. I feel irritated, exhausted, and hopeless. I don’t know what he wants, how to help him, or how to cope with this severe exhaustion and irritability. I know that he can’t help it, but it’s hard to keep a positive outlook on life today.

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6 thoughts on “A Hard Week

  1. Can’t remember how old Oliver is but……it is quite common for children with autism, young and old, to have sleep issues and *night terrors* are often a part of it. It doesn’t matter why he is (and you are too!)having a bad time, he needs to sleep and so do you. Don’t ask him what is wrong…he probably doesn’t know.

    Do NOT let him go to sleep earlier than he usually would. You need to *re-boot* his sleeping cycle and if he sleeps well too early, that means he will get up too early…not good unless you want to get up earlier too. Don’t let him nap because the main event should be a good night’s sleep, so no *cat naps*!

    This weekend, your whole goal should be to set everything up for him to sleep. No extra stimulation, no different foods (GI trouble can be an issue and if he can’t articulate he has a tummy ache….see where this is going), no extra drinks of water etc. after dinner and speak in a calm, calm, soothing voice (hard when you are exhausted but try), a warm bath before bed, his favorite PJs. Start the process after dinner, turn down the lights, turn off any TV or music and let it be a calming place. And stick to it until it is officially time for him to go to bed, then put him to bed and see what happens.

    He may not sleep the first time you try this process. Try different things and see what seems to help. When he finally DOES get back to a normal-ish sleep pattern and you are able to get some rest, write down what seemed to work this time, for next time.

    My Kiddo’s sleep issues went in cycles–he was great and entirely normal and then WHAM–he wouldn’t sleep more than 15 minutes at a time for two weeks. You catch a quick nap when you can because if you are tired and not able to cope, it’s not good for him either!

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    • Exactly! Thank you so much. He turned 20 months old today. I just saw your comment, but I actually went all day without TV or music in the house, didn’t let him nap, and he slept the whole night through. I must have sensed your comment’s insight. Thank you! I’m going to reread this if we hit a wall like that again.

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  2. I know you use essential oils. There’s a few I use with C. See if it helps. If Oliver is having flu or chesty cough, try applying one to two drops of R.C. on the chest and back. Rub gently. Second method, when C is fussy, apart from the R.C. on chest, I would apply one drop of thieves on the big toe of each foot and RUB towards the arch of each foot. Next, I will put one drop of lavender on my palm, gently rub with both palms,then RUB on the rest of the foot, excluding the big toe and arch. Repeat the lavender drop for other foot. If you suspect fever is coming, do the thieves drop in big toe followed by peppermint drop in the spine. You should be using one drop only. Drop one drop on palm, gently rub against palm before dabbing on spine area. C is four. If Oliver is younger, you might want to consult the Young Living Representative from your area. Hope this helps!

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