Getting your child with autism to sleep can sometimes be a struggle if you do not have a set routine in place for bedtime. Managing bedtime for children with autism can create tense moments if unwanted behavior gets in the way. As you get more frustrated, they will pick up on this and become more upset. A functional skills training program can help build routines and necessary life skills to help teens with autism lead a more independent life.
At Camp Worth, we help frustrated teen boys and girls aged 11-17 develop essential life skills that will make for a healthier home life. Your child with autism will get help with basic self-care skills as well as improve their communication and decision-making skills. For help with managing bedtime for teens with autism, call 855.915.2545 today to speak with our caring staff about our functional skills training program.
Why Children with Autism Struggle with Falling Asleep
Children with autism are more susceptible to insomnia and have more trouble staying asleep. Recent research shows that children with autism sometimes have a mutation to the genes that regulate sleep. This mutation can affect natural melatonin production, which is a sleep hormone that regulates your sleep patterns.
Other common issues that may be disrupting your child’s sleep include:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Light and sound sensitivity
Stimulants are a popular medication for children with autism and significantly reduce some of their symptoms. Stimulants can affect their sleep patterns and prevent them from getting enough rest. At Camp Worth, we can help identify what may be affecting your child’s sleep patterns, whether from medication or behavioral issues, to improve their ability to sleep throughout the night.
Managing Bedtime for Children with Autism
Children and teens with autism thrive on routine and structure. If you do not have a set routine in place for bedtime and other activities, you will find it difficult to manage your child’s behavior.
Managing bedtime for children with autism can be easy and fun when you follow simple steps, such as:
- Have a set routine they need to follow to get ready for bed with a specific bedtime. Make a game out of it with rewards for finishing on time with no interruptions.
- Create a warm and inviting sleep scape. Use photos of your child sleeping near their bed to associate sleeping with the area. A weighted blanket can help comfort your child if they feel anxious at bedtime.
- Eliminate TV or screen time an hour before bedtime. Encourage them to write about their day or read a story. Reading to your child at night is an effective way to build a stronger bond and helps them sleep better at night.
- Avoid caffeine or sugary treats before bedtime. Switch to non-caffeinated drinks and healthy snacks for the late afternoon and evening.
- Plan plenty of physical activity during the day. It is a great way to release pent-up energy and tire them out if they are highly energetic in the evening.
- Eat nutritious meals. Fill them up with a healthy breakfast in the morning. At night, dinners should be plentiful but not overly full to eliminate digestive problems.
Managing bedtime for children with autism does not have to be a struggle. By working with your teen and using positive reinforcement, you can improve their bedtime and get a restful night’s sleep.
Explore How a Functional Skills Training Program at Camp Worth Can Help Your Child with Autism
At Camp Worth, we work with teens aged 11-17 and their parents in managing bedtime for teens with autism. Our functional skills training program teaches teens with autism practical life skills that will help improve their self-confidence in their abilities. To get help with managing bedtime for teens with autism, complete our online form or call 855.915.2545 today to learn more about our functional skills training program.