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Secrets & Tips for a Happier Family

Normally, a well-developed and healthy child should sleep for at least 14 hours/day (ages one to three), 12 hours/day (ages three to six) or 10 hours/day (ages seven to twelve). However, children with autism often have difficulty falling asleep and do not get enough rest, which can cause a number of serious health issues and complications. As a parent, dealing with your child’s sleeping disorder on top of the other ASD-related issues can prove to be quite challenging, but you have to understand that lack of sleep is very dangerous. There are a number of ways in which you can help from child, from offering emotional support to investing in special products such as the therapy swing for autism. Here are some of the biggest challenges your child might be facing and solutions for them.

 

What are the biggest sleep problems in children with autism?

 

Fortunately, sleeping disorders are easy to spot and it’s impossible for the parent or babysitter not to notice that the child is not resting properly. These are the signs that indicate a sleeping problem:

 

  • The child needs a long time to fall asleep, even with bedtime stories and songs. They are agitated and twist and turn in their beds for hours before they can fall asleep.
  • Hectic sleeping schedule. In general, children have a stable sleeping schedule and even afternoon naps tend to take place at the same time every day. However, children with autism have irregular sleeping patterns. In one day they will take a nap at midday, in other days they’ll take a nap at 5 pm and then stay up until midnight.
  • The child has poor quality sleep, meaning that they are restless, have nightmares and wake up many times during the night. When they wake up in the morning, they aren’t well rested; on the contrary, they are agitated, moody and have red, puffy eyes.

Why sleep problems should not be ignored

 

If sleeping issues are not addressed, they can lead to behavioral issues such as aggression, depression and irritability. In the long run, they can even trigger harmful problems such as cognitive and learning challenges. Not only will these problems affect your child’s mood, but also have an impact on his mental health.

Helping your child have a good night sleep

 

One of the simplest ways to help your child with autism sleep better is invest in a therapy swing, which is made from a special material that imitates the human touch and feels like a hug. You should also read them a bedtime story, play soft music and stay with them if that calms them down. Don’t give them any sweets before bedtime or let them play video games, because this will only make them hyperactive and agitated. Instead, shut down the computer and TV and draw the curtains so that they’re not distracted by lights from outside. Although there are some drugs that can help children fall asleep faster, these are the absolutely last resort and should only me prescribed by a doctor.

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