16 Key Strategies to Get Children with Autism to Sleep
For all children, a good night’s sleep is necessary in order to learn effectively the next day. Research has found that two thirds of children with autism have sleep problems, fragmented sleep and early awakenings. I recently did a poll on my Facebook page here most parents identified the issue for them was going to sleep. I have put some strategies together to help with bedtime routines.
- Set Up a good bedtime routine. Use timers/clocks/sensory tools.
- Use Melatonin (medication) to help get to sleep
- Teach to stay in bed even if not sleeping
- Epsom Salts, bath or Lavender
- Turn off all “blue screens” (iPads, TVs etc) at least one hour before sleep.
- Keep bedroom door open
- Earn reward points for staying in the bedroom
- Accept lack of sleep can be related to anxiety levels so they may need time to pace
- Check for food allergies particularly gluten intolerance
- TV in room with a timer on so it turns off automatically
- Sleep on the floor next to their bed (Rather than them coming into your bed)
- Exercise like maniacs
- Wind them down early and have calm routine
- Stories in softly lit room and cuddling
- Social script that explains why people and family need sleep
- Try wrapping the child in their sheets or blankets. They may need the restriction around their body to feel comfortable
Sue Larkey Books
The Ultimate Guide to School and Home
By Sue Larkey and Anna Tullemans
This book provides key strategies for all ages and stages. It offers over 500 practical strategies and timer savers for school and home from engaging disengaged students, what to do if you don’t have a teacher assistant to considerations for setting up a classroom for teachers; and from developing friends, to moving house and choosing a school for families. It is the ultimate guide for teachers, parents and all professionals supporting children with autism spectrum disorder, including Aspergers, ADD, ADHD, ODD and other developmental delays.
Developing Social Skills
A starting point for teaching and encouraging social interactions and skills for children with an autism spectrum disorder and other developmental delays. It is a useful concrete and visual resource which when coupled with videoing, role playing and modeling will help young primary school age children with an autism spectrum disorder to better understand the social world around them. This book includes hundreds of ideas, social stories and worksheets. It is a great resource full of time savers for home and school.
The Early Years
This book is full of practical ideas to give children with an ASD and other developmental delays the KEYS to learning. Teaching to play, write, draw, imitate etc. Toilet training, community access, etc. To sit, ask for help, wait, play, attention to task, sign songs, etc. Great easy to photocopy programmes.
Cook Books and Teaching Manual
This Manual and Both Cook books have ready-made programmes linking curriculum and educational outcomes. These books are an ideal teaching programme for everyone. Cooking is a marvelous tool to teach everything from maths to social skills. Because cooking is a favourite with all children it’s a wonderful teaching and learning activity appropriate for all ages and stages!
Teacher Assistant Big Red Book of Ideas
Hundreds of ideas you can try. Setting up the classroom, the role of the teacher assistant, behaviour in the classroom and playground, stages of anxiety, transition, sensory toys and activities. Includes frequently asked questions and MORE!
Teacher Assistants Big Blue Book of Ideas
Companion to the Teacher Assistants Big Red Book of Ideas. Hundreds of new strategies to try. Social skills: playgrounds, friendships, building self esteem, bullying. In the classroom: getting on task, adapting tasks and exams, building independence. Managing anxiety and behaviour