Hi all, I am seeking some help and support for myself and the dad of our 9 year old. A little about him, he was diagnosed back when he was 3. The support his parents got was that they where coping well and didn't need any further advice. He goes to mainstream school and for the past few years his school reports have worsened. He struggles with anxiety at times however this has worsened. He has also recently been diagnosed with dysbraxia. So, his mum has taken him back to the go due to anxiety to be told he will grow out of it. He suffers with going to sleep, so much so he is holding his head saying he gives up. Normally we would take him home to his mum, which helps or if she is out his dad will get into bed with him,but then he doesn't settle till 2am ish. Normally anxiety grows when it is the summer holidays. He has started being very clingy when going out, sometimes the simple trip to the local restaurant will cause this. He normally goes to bed with his TV on and we will turn it off once he is asleep, which lately he is not. We would like to make it comfortable for him as we know his mum needs the break and my partner is scared and worried he is losing his son. Where can we go to get him re-assessed as we are finding it hard to get the gp to refer us, or what can we say to get him to refer us? Sorry for the long post, we are out of our minds at the moment. Is there any apps that our 9 year old can do to help with autism and anxiety?
Hi this sounds very similar to my son a few years ago who is now 10. I found that routine was the key.
He struggled sleeping and we found a fan, a night light and music were 3 of his things that were calming for him. Perhaps speak with his mum to find out her routine and implement the same. Or have some of the things he enjoys in his room at yours to make him feel more comfortable.
To help with settling at night and because we realised transitions were a problem for our son we kept the same bed time for during the week extending it a little at weekend and used a traffic light timer that counted down for him then we gave him a 5 minute cuddle just before settling. This took some time but it worked.
I also found that now when he can’t sleep I use breathing excercises which relaxes him enough to switch of a little.
I find when he’s over stimulated or has something troubling him that is when he appears more unsettled and struggles to sleep.
We can’t take our son to big shops or restaurants because they are to sensory for him, bright lights, busy places and new smells caused him anxiety as well as being anxious over what he would eat as he has a limited food palate.
We also struggle to get him out the house most of the time as his house is his safe space and were he feels most comfortable and can be himself. that is a challenge that we still haven’t got a handle of yet lol a big learning curve for us especially during the holidays.
The most important thing for him is to feel loved and looked after and you are doing that.
Hope some of this helps xx
Hello, I've not posted before, or for that matter not really acknowledged yet that my son has Aspergers. He's just turned 13 and was diagnosed this year. Anyway I felt I should reply to your message because it's very similar to my son's behaviour. As the earlier reply says - it's all about routine. It took us a while to figure things out but my son needs to know exactly what is going on all the time. When it comes to bed time he has no concept of time - it doesn't interest him - so we have to warn him "you need to get ready for bed in ten minutes"; once ready for bed he can play video games for about an hour - then we warn him again "in ten minutes you stop playing games and watch TV". He then watches TV hopefully to unwind from video games - then again, another warning "sleep in 10 minutes". When it's time to sleep he always says - this finishes in 7 minutes - so he finishes what he's watching then finally sleep! Although he does often not sleep for a while but he is calm and in control. We never cut him short from a game or something he's watching. The routine has to be the same otherwise it all gets very unruly. My son will only stay at my sister in law's house and she also follows this routine. He needs to be highly motivated to stay with her in the first place which is always achieved by a long period of notice, reminders and something he wants! Call it blackmail but it works and everyone is happy. My sister in law has had terrible time with him before we worked all this out! Everyone is different but all ideas are helpful x
Thank you so much for your comment and suggestions. We have spent the past two days working at a routine and strategies to suit both households. Both mum and dad have asked to be referred back to the autism unit, however the gp has reffered back to the dysbraxia unit, but like I said to them, atleast they are back in the NHS system and hopefully get to where they need to be. We have a calendar in place here so he can look to see who he is with. Instead of 4 consecutive nights here, we have broken this to every other night. He slept last night without any issues and we have told him, instead of asking, that he watches a film in bed instead of 20 minute episodes, where he spends time flicking through channels. He has a fan and a lamp. He does feel like we are being strict with him, which is new to mum mostly, however throughout the talking we have said this will break that separation anxiety a bit and she will be able to enjoy her time off instead of worrying about whether she will get a phone call to say he's coming home. I've also explained to his dad that we need to be persistent with him and not give in to a melt down. I'm still learning too, one to look after a little boy and 2 to manage this as I have 2 girls. The girls are around the same age and it has taken me time to get them to understand that we are not giving Brandon privelages, he needs them to help him. I'm proud of all 3 of them. The routine is set and it's now time to persevere and not give in. Thanks again x
Thanks again for your comment too. I've explained everything in the previous reply and we have taken on board everything that has been said and suggested. We just need to persevere with it now until everyone is used to it. It must be so hard for him to understand 2 different rules at 2 different households as well as coming to terms with the break up of his mum and dad. At times he still struggled and we are 3 years on from that. We are also looking into therapy to help with understanding this and also his feelings and how to express them. A routine is now in place and it is being used under both roofs too. It's going to take time I know but we are looking forward to him being more settled. Yeah have noticed the same with staying elsewhere and we are hoping to have help from his mums, mum who has him over to stay and he is more comfortable. We are going to talk to family this weekend to implement as much as they can when we go to visit too. Will remember too to give him plenty of time if we need this to happen. We've implemented a calendar and a list of jobs he needs to do morning and night to help with teeth brushing, getting dressed ect before he is allowed his TV. I can't thank you both enough for your advice x
Bless him, good luck I'm sure he will be more settled now everyone is on the same page x