Managing PDA – Sleep
Sleep is so very important. Have you ever noticed how much worse everything seems when you haven’t had enough sleep? Sleep deprivation was used as a torture technique with very good reason. PDA and lack of sleep seem to go hand in hand in our house. The following article is all about what strategies we are implementing to help us in managing PDA and the sleep issues that we are experiencing.
PDA and Sleep
In our house it seems that sleep is a luxury that rarely happens with any great success. Our son is diagnosed with Autism with Demand Avoidance Traits.
He just doesn’t sleep properly and, because he doesn’t sleep, nor do I. It doesn’t matter how late he eventually drops off, he will still wake up early. He suffers from night terrors and nightmares and doesn’t like the dark which means that sleeping through, for however short a period of time, is rare. I’m sure many of you are able to associate with this state of affairs.
We have, over the last couple of years, tried so many different strategies, all with varying amounts of success:
- A strict bedtime routine
- Night light diffuser with essential oils
- Bedtime story
- Changing his bed
- Decorating his room in restful colours
- Magnesium bath salts for his night time bath
- Restricting screen times before bed
- Increasing his exercise
- Changing his diet
There’s probably things I’ve missed from the list but I’m sure you’re getting the idea. The important thing to note here is that these are ASD strategies that we implemented before the Demand Avoidance diagnosis.
Now that we have discovered Demand Avoidance, we have adapted these strategies to remove the demands to help us in managing PDA. The results are staggering. Don’t get me wrong, he still doesn’t sleep at all well but, we do now, mostly manage to get him into bed without arguments.
What’s to Come
Over the course of the next few weeks, I’m going to be talking about each of these strategies and how we have adapted them to take into account the differences needed for Demand Avoidance and the needs of our son. I’m hoping that some of our ideas may help you but, please remember that I am not an expert, I am merely a mum in search of answers to help her son. I would also love to hear from you, how you deal with these issues and if you have any ideas that may help us. I’m all for sharing techniques and ideas! Although progress has been made, PDA and sleep deprivation still go hand in hand for us. This also may be of help to you. While I have been researching this topic, I came across the blog called PDA Guidance. They have an interesting article on this very subject and it’s one that I’m going to be reading with interest. I strongly urge you to take a look at this article and let me know what you think.
Pick Your Battles
Some people may not understand this but, in order for us to help our son and cope with life at the same time, we can only deal with one thing at a time. There are people out there that will judge us, that will criticize us for what they think is a failure in our parenting and, you know what? That’s ok. Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion but, all I ask is that you give constructive criticism. This blog is about helping people, not judging them.
Keep plodding on.
Until next time,