As a mother of 3, one being a son with Autism and ADHD, it’s all too familiar. Trust me; I know how you feel. I spent so many years talking to doctors and therapists, fatigued and perplexed, trying to figure out why he couldn’t settle down and sleep. No one could help me; I was continuously given generic advice that didn’t help me or my son William.
Are there proven strategies for autism and better sleep?
I spent countless hours reading, researching, and consuming all that I could about nutrition, habits, and the biological mechanisms of sleep.
The more I learned, the more I started questioning why isn’t anyone talking about sleep, gut issues, and histamine. Why isn’t anyone discussing the correlation between tryptophan, serotonin levels, and melatonin?
I was told to create a bedtime routine. Nonsense! Anyone who lives with our kiddos knows that it’s not just about routine, but most don’t know what else they need to do, and believe me, there is so much we can do.
The struggle with Autism, ADHD and sleep is real….
No one knows why sleep issues occur more commonly in children with autism/ADHD than in their neurotypical peers but some theories include sensitivities to stimuli, biological brain differences, high rates of anxiety, and other factors such as diet, sensory needs, etc.
What we do know is that sleep disturbance has been shown to impact concentration, mood, memory recall, and sensory processing systems. It also increases stimming and hyperactivity as their bodies are stuck in fight or flight mode because sleep deprivation activates their sympathetic nervous system.
Sleep Challenges for Children with Special Needs & Autism
It’s alarming is that it’s estimated that 80% of kids on the Autism Spectrum and who have ADHD experience the following:
- Resistance to bedtime
- Trouble falling asleep (sleep-onset insomnia)
- Restlessness and discomfort while sleeping
- Waking too early and daytime sleepiness.
- Sleep apnea or breathing interruptions during sleep
- Sleeping much less than recommended for their age
- Waking through the night and staying awake for more than an hour
Helping Parents Find Sleep Solutions for Their Special Needs Kids
In all my research and training, I was mainly looking to uncover why sleep issues were so different for kids won the Autism Spectrum and ADHD. As a result, on top of my other sleep certifications, I obtained my Special Needs Certification to solidify all that I learned on my own. I decided I wanted to help other struggling families like I was.
I want to give them some sense of normalcy in their lives by giving them some time in the evening to feel sane and, perhaps, just maybe, an uninterrupted night of sleep. Can you imagine? You can and you should.
There is hope, kids with Autism and ADHD can and will sleep…
Any caretaker of an autistic child knows that no two kids on the spectrum are the same, which means no two sleep plans should be the same, even if the underlying issues are identical. By working together, we will consider the inherent contributory factors to poor sleep and will assess environmental, medical, and nutritional influences.
I know it can be an overwhelming process, but I will be with you every step of the way. As parents of special needs kids, we already have enough challenges in our lives, and sleep doesn’t have to be one of them.
Tiny Transitions Special Needs Sleep Coach
A Certified Special Needs Pediatric Sleep Coach for Children with Special Needs, Autism and ADHD.
Based in Caldwell, NJ and working with local practitioners in the area, I work around the world virtually with clients as a one-on-one sleep coach, so no matter where you are, if you need help developing healthy sleep habits for your infant, toddler, or school-aged child, I am here to help.
TACA mentor in Northern New Jersey
Sleep Steps® Certified in Pediatric Sleep
Special Needs Certified Sleep Coach
Certified Adult Sleep Science Coach
Mother of 3 with a little beautiful boy with autism
Our preliminary sleep assessment call may be the first step in finding relief. We’ll discuss your child’s diagnosis, habits and concerns to help you identify potential solutions specific to your family goals and in alignment with your child’s unique challenges.
One on One
Our virtual private consultations with a Certified Sleep Coach can help you identify and understand common sources of poor sleep. We’ll review your existing struggles and create a comrehensive program that allows you to enjoy healthy, restorative sleep.
Roadmap for Success
Our sleep programs are designed to provide your child in mind and deliberate balance in the time in which it takes to work mindfully with children to make positive changes in their routine, without causing alarm for them, so they & you can get a restful night’s sleep.