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Thread: Xpost from PMultis - I need bedtime help.

  1. #1
    emzeegee is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Xpost from PMultis - I need bedtime help.

    The trio are 5 years old. DD#1 has some autism-spectrum issues (not bad enough to be diagnosed, it just means she is, basically, 'quirky'). Here is the issue. The kids share a room, and have done so since they were born. It's not really a problem except in the last couple of months. One of DD1's issues is that she has a very hard time 'shutting off' her brain. So even with a strict nighttime routine, she has a hard time going to sleep unless she is literally worn out. She is the one who will get out of bed, talk, turn the lights on, and basically be a royal pain in the you-know-where. This week she asked for a sleepover at the IL's by herself. On the way home from dropping her off, the other two were SINGING about the fact that she would not be there at night to annoy them. Upon further discussion, DD2 and DS basically said that as soon as DH or I leave, she gets out of bed and annoys them. She tries to get them to get out of bed, play with her, talk to her, etc. If they don't respond or refuse, she'll start hitting them, mimicking them, etc. You get the idea. It's not a happy bedroom - because she'll goad them and they'll bite, which ensues in a fight and then DH or I getting upset at the noise/screaming which is going on up there.

    So in theory this seems simple - give her her own room and that should solve it. We DO have a room she could go into, and we've tried it a couple of times. She just ends up turning the lights on and off, playing, going down the hall to annoy the others, getting out of bed loads of times, etc. Her latest 'trick' is coming downstairs really quietly and hiding under our bed or behind furniture, etc - DH and I don't notice she is there for some time! It can be scary if she is not in her bed and nowhere to be found. Honestly, I'm just not sure what to do next. I've tried talking to her (when she and I are calm and quiet), explaining that the others need their sleep. I've tried giving them a 5 minute reading and playing time (in bed but before lights out). I've tried loads of things. I don't know how to get her to settle. Melatonin is not available here (because I would have tried that too).

    I'm going to cross post this on SNK - but in the meantime, has anyone dealt with this? I need a solution - when DH is home (he's currently out of town) the situation worsens (to get his attention.) He's not home now, and she's done the same but less so. I'd like to get this behaviour settled before he gets back. All suggestions other two are getting very upset about it all and it's making bedtime quite unhappy.

    M + 3

  2. #2
    peanutgallery is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Hey Michelle

    I should be packing for our trip but my SID kid is STILL up at 2am and freaking out...

    I know your pain...

    anyway, I would give her her own room. Think of it as a gift for the other two.

    I'd make some rules and be firm. Take her lovingly by the hand and don't say a word, just put her back in bed. At times with dd (who resists bedtime occasionally) we tell her if she cries and throws a fit, she won't get a hug and get tucked in, but if she calms down I'll hug her and tuck her in. This is the kind of thing that doesn't work the first 10,000 times you try it (ok, fewer, but it SEEMS like that long) but unbelievably, eventually, it does.

    One thing I've had to come to terms with is that some kids have special needs. Sounds like a duh thing but I want to be fair to all of my kids--but sometimes things aren't fair. If your child suffered blindness, you wouldn't prevent her sibs from doing things they needed to see for (let's say baseball), and conversely you wouldn't tell her she didn't need a cane or a dog because the world is a place she'd need to adapt to. (Sorry, it's a lame example but one I am increasingly telling people about, because though my ds's sp needs aren't as visible as blindness, they are as crippling at times to us)



  3. #3
    Suzi is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default I agree..

    I'd put her in her own room. We've been through this with my dd and even saw a behavior therapist for advice.

    Sit down with her and calmly explain everything. Then have her help you make the bedtime routine rules. Write them and put pictures if she can't read yet (draw, cut out of magazines, etc) next to each rule. Some of our bedtime routine rules included bath, brush hair, brush teeth, in bed by 8:00 p.m. (she could do what she wanted as along as she was in bed), lights out at 8:30 p.m. (and explain no getting out of bed after that!!) Then explain that she will earn a ticket (or token, or marble, etc whatever you want to use) for each item she completes in her bedtime routine. I gave 2 for lights out at 8:30 and not getting back up.

    She can then use the tickets she earns to purchase rewards. Our behavior therapist says that nothing should be free including watching tv, computer time, etc. So, our dd had to buy tv time, etc. She could also trade in for 5 cents each or save up for a sleepover or go to the movies, etc. Have her make up the rewards and they don't all have to be monetary!

    This REALLY worked for us! It got our bedtime routine under control. You can use it with all 3 even though they don't all have issues with the bedtime routine. You can also use it for other areas that you want to change their behavior. GL and give it a try!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default How about music?

    Have you tried giving your busy DD her own portable CD player with some claming music? MY 6 yr old DS loves to listen to classical music and/or smooth jazz before bed. He has his own CD player/clock and listens as he falls asleep.

    Just a suggestion.

    Mom to 2 boys

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