ASD and night time attachment ssues - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 4 Old 01-06-2013, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know what else to do with DS1. I feel like we've tried everything. He is 3.5, ASD, and firmly attached to DH. It has always been this way from the time he was very young, I serve simply to care for him until DH comes home. Now that he has a decent vocab, all day long I hear, "Da home soon", "Da home", "Da now", literally all day long. He is deeply attached in a way that isn't like other children. Da is more important then food, then drink, then anything. Every noise is Da coming home, every truck is his, heaven forbidden that I actually need to pass by DH's office. This deep attachment has always been there but with DS1 maturing and him being able to actually verbalize, it is just more impossible to ignore. 

 


DH and DS1 sleep together. I can't put DS1 to bed, he just sobs uncontrollable, eventually falls asleep, wakes up a short time later, and we repeat, over and over again until DH either comes home or literally all night long if he gone. We did get the fourth "bonus" baby so there is DS2 to consider who is 17 months and obviously can't sleep through all this.

 

 


Even on a good night with DH, DS1 is not a great sleeper. Hasn't napped in over 1.5 years. Takes forever to fall asleep, wakes up constantly, is often wide awake for hours in the night. We've tried melatonin, varying kinds, doses, it worked for a short period of time but no longer does. If DH isn't right there in bed with him, he wanders and wakes up repeatedly until DH gives up and comes to bed. With more sleep, his behavior is better, less sleep and we have even more meltdowns and tantrums then normal. Otherwise I'm to the point where I'd just let the kid roam around for hours.

 

 

We've tried separate beds, on and on. It isn't my first child so I know about transitioning. Heck, I've taught classes on AP night time parenting to new moms! It is downright impossible. He goes into horrible meltdowns, regressions. Dh Isn't sleeping obviously because DS1 wakes up all night long. The biggest two problems that we have is that DH is unable to work at night or travel anymore. Sometimes he has to work a late night at the office, almost every night he normally works from home after DS1 goes to sleep which he can't even do because DS1 wakes up over and over and over again. This is highly critical to his job. And so is travel. He literally has only traveled for work a couple times since DS2 was born, it used to be a week a month and he needs to probably do at least every other month right now. Not traveling is coming at a huge cost. The problem being is that literally DS1 and I do not sleep when DH is gone. He wanders for hours, almost at night sometimes, pacing around the house, and refusing to verbalize. He goes in another place in his mind and it get be difficult to get him out of it until DH returns. DH had to leave his work's holiday retreat weekend after one night because it was such a failure back at home. I don't have easy children at night, my two girls have their fair shares of issues so we've dealt with non-sleeping children for years and years but this is just not sustainable. I truly either need to be able to parent him at night or he needs to sleep somewhat. Anyone had a similar child?


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#2 of 4 Old 01-06-2013, 11:55 PM
 
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I don't have any experience so forgive me if this sounds dumb. Would making a stuffed doll with your DH's picture on it help? Or maybe blanket or something? When I read your post I thought of the deployment dolls that my friend makes her son when his dad is deployed overseas. Her son loves it. 

 

What's his diet like? 

 

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#3 of 4 Old 01-07-2013, 06:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiemombian View Post

I don't have any experience so forgive me if this sounds dumb. Would making a stuffed doll with your DH's picture on it help? Or maybe blanket or something? When I read your post I thought of the deployment dolls that my friend makes her son when his dad is deployed overseas. Her son loves it. 

This, exactly, was my first thought too. Along with a t-shirt or DH's pillow or something that smells like him.

Beyond that, I really don't know, though I certainly have a lot of sympathy for your situation! My DS sounds a lot like yours, except it's me he needs. I often feel like a slave to the bed because I have to spend so much time there, laying beside DS, and not sleeping... Recently we have worked on having DS sleep on the other side of DH -- so, still in bed with me, but not near me. He was NOT happy about this and it's very hit or miss, most of the time he ends up near me partway through the night, often sooner rather than later, but it does seem to be helping a bit to break the sleep association with me. We practice on nights that he's calmer, not overly anxious or sick. The other nights he so deeply needs to be near me that he often sleeps on top of me... which is incredibly painful now that he's 4yo!! He's always been a horrendous sleeper and it's only gotten marginally better since his first week of life. No one understands when I say we have sleep issues that I mean something way more than just a little trouble falling asleep or waking up a couple times a night. *sigh*

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#4 of 4 Old 01-07-2013, 11:28 AM
 
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Ds2 is a bad sleeper too. We tried melatonin, that didn't work. So we ended up using clonidine to calm him down and help him sleep. His pedi prescribed it and it has been a life saver! It only works for 6 hrs, so he often wakes up after that, but at least we get six hours of sleep.

 

The other thing we've done is buy a tent bed that fits over his twin mattress: www.readysetbloom.com. He is zipped into the tent at night so if he does wake up he can't get out of bed and roam, so he just lies and babbles to himself. He is pretty used to this since he moved from a crib to the tent bed with no breaks. We did co-sleep when he first came home -he's adopted from Korea- but his poor sleeping habits were wrecking havoc on the functioning of the family as a whole. He didn't like moving to his own crib, then own room but we knew it needed to be done.

 

There have been many people who judge us since we both medicate him and use the tent bed, however we know the benefits are worth it - ds2 is better behaved and able to concentrate more at pre-school and therapy; we are better rested and thus have more patience to handle him and the other kiddo during the day.

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