Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Friday, February 17, 2012

Party all night - Sleep all day; Early Release Day = I don't think so.


Owen is a party animal, I can just see him 12 years from now - listening to music videos on his iPad 12, stimming out is the new "in", chocolate milk containers all around his room..up till 3am. I can see Owen being this way, because he is a night-hawk now, especially when Ryan is home.

A while ago I have posted about Owens sleep habits, and I think we are lucky compared to some people with ASD, Owen totally sleeps through the night right now, with no medication. The problem we have always had since Owen was 2, is has has a very difficult time falling asleep.

Since I have been back to work, working 4 afternoons a week, Owen is usually up when I get home from Vineland, which is a 30 minute drive. When he sees me walk through the door, he almost right away goes right to the couch, and puts on his blanket and falls asleep. Those are very late nights for him, sometimes up till midnight if I am cleaning before I go to bed.

When nights like this happen, which unfortunately is frequent, we used to make the mistake of waking Owen up in the morning for school. I know - obviously that is our role as parents, get him on the bus and off to school, but this works a little different with Owen. We noticed that waking him up early, would ruin his entire day at school, he was not productive and he had more sensory behaviours than normal. Yes, we should be teaching him when to get up on time, the routines in the morning - but my thought was, if sleeping in and me driving him to school a couple days a week helps him be more alert for school, then so be it.

This morning he was up in time for the bus, the problem - Early Release Day. I used to LOVE these days in school, obvi! Half a day, get a long weekend - not as a parent, especially to a child with Autism. Half days screw his days up so much, he has no understanding why his day is cut short, why there is no more play time, and even if he can not understand the concept of actual time, he knows when certain activities happen during the day - and when he comes home, meltdown. Why set him up for failure?
(This is why I pray that the government keeps Full Day JK, I can not imagine next year Owen going half a day!)

Yes, our life is not a typical one - Early Release Days are not our friend, nighttime is for partying, and Owen has missed his bus more than Criss Cross.

-Vanessa

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