Gotta love Handel. Don't have to love the fact that Steve and I walk around sleep deprived.
Sleep issues and Zach. Yeah, we got 'em. And so do many parents - but at 4 years old, I guess I thought we would be passed this. Sleep disorders/issues seem to come with the territory if you have a child with autism. 44%-83% of kids on the spectrum have some sleep issue. (Sleep problems in autism: prevalence, cause, and intervention; Richdale, Amanda).
One comment I uttered a few years ago sticks in my head and seems to pop in and out at various times. When you first start to realize your kids are growing, you get so sad. A cousin of Steve's and her beautiful baby girl just posted on facebook a comment about putting away one size of clothes and going into the next and how the tears were a'flowing. I always hated the passing of time and my kids. I can recall saying to a friend that I just wished they could stay innocent forever. And wham. I guess God did grant me my wish. I feel like I have a perpetual infant sometimes with Zach. While he has progressed, I feel like he will be forever innocent, forever an infant. There are part about this that are nice, and parts that, well, make me wonder how we will handle the rest of our lives.
I feel like I will never have adequate sleep again. At this point, we are looking into getting a pediatric endocrinologist involved at the recommendation of Yale. Zach's sleep patterns are unusual, he has never required a lot of sleep. But more unusual is his night-waking. I have read a lot of kids on the spectrum night-wake - so does Zach, but rather than play around he tosses and turns. He actually appears to want to sleep, but isn't able to. This in conjunction with his GI issues may have a common link.
Some people have recommended benadryl and others melatonin. We are trying to avoid both of these options right now: 1) benadryl can work just great, except for those kids who react as if they were on speed to it, and 2) melatonin slows down the digestive system, and Zach already has slow digestive motility and I have gotten used to not having him barf and really don't feel like going there right now.
The odd part about this is that once in awhile, Zach throws us a bone and sleeps through the night. The next day, we all feel amazing - vibrant, clear thinking, alert, happy. But I have learned not to get used to this feeling. It won't be there for long.
So there you have it, just another reason why you should be grateful if your child doesn't have a disability. Sleep.
So if Steve and I look like we have been up all night - we likely have been. Or recovering from some sort of interrupted sleep.