Monday, 19 November 2012

Aspergers and Puberty

At the moment Autism is consuming our lives. Hence the lack of blogging for a little while. Sometimes it does that.You can be going along hunky dory then wham bam , you suddenly hit an unexpected blip! Puberty has been like that. We thought we had it sorted and then suddenly out of nowhere we had agoraphobia, anxiety, lack of eating and now inability to sleep.Actually, that's not quite true. Over the past two weeks my son has fallen asleep at 5.00am and slept until about 4.00pm every day.

On the bright side,he is sleeping on the sofa so we get a better nights sleep, also as I'm home educating  then he doesn't have to go to school in the morning. Other than that there isn't a lot of bright side. I'm stuck at home most days unable to go anywhere and when I do go out there is a battle to wake him up and go out the door so there is little incentive to do so.Offers of bowling and the zoo have both been turned down this week and my son has managed to go out once after much cajoling.
We have decided in the short term to go with the flow. I'm obviously worried about him and that this will spiral due to lack of exercise and going out but I have little faith in those that are supposed to help us in the NHS. A friend with a child with similar sleep problems has just told me that the local CAMHS have no staff. They are ringing people on the waiting list to see if they still need help as many on the list  'have got better' since they were added to the list. At what expense to their mental well being I hate to think. We really are living in the dark ages as far as mental health goes in Cumbria!

Whilst the disgusting lack of appropriate services continue I choose to get my help and advice from local parents, specialist books and the internet. They are the real experts. It's easy to become overwhelmed when several problems hit at once so you have to create a list of priorities and   we have decided to concentrate on sleep.Having made enquiries and done research we have opted to buy  a weighted blanket from to see if it helps my son sleep. Some parents swear by them. They are not cheap at over £100 however as my son generally walks round swaddled in a smelly old duvet for comfort anyway there is the chance that it just might work.My mum re-read Luke Jacksons Freaks Geeks and Aspergers syndrome and suddenly the chapter on sleep made sense. Luke was unable to sleep until 5.00am and he had school the next day. My son is the same. It's as if he gets sleepy as soon as it begins to get light.

 I've also ordered an Indian head massage book. My son has always loved having his forehead rubbed and I thought it might help. The trouble is I'm not very patient so I'm having to slow down (it feels like I'm coming to a stop sometimes!)

Any way so that's how it is in our house at the moment! If anyone has any inspiration then please feel free to leave a comment. All suggestions welcome! Meanwhile for any of you in the same boat out there I found this link with several suggestions
to help your children sleep and this which suggests they might not. In which case I suggest our children learn as they get older to do their shopping at night and find themselves a night shift!


  1. I'm really enjoying reading your blog :-) I have 2 sons with autism and am home educating and so I am finding so much useful stuff and enjoying your writing. Hope your son's sleep difficulties are improving since you wrote this.

    1. Thank you for the kind comments. If my blog helps anyone then it.s worth it. I'm sorry I haven't replied before now but the comment didn't show up on my email list! On a brighter note I've been asked to go on our local radio to speak about the lack of Mental Health provision for autistic children so I hope it makes a difference!

  2. 'agoraphobia, anxiety, lack of eating and now inability to sleep.'

    I am not sure that my son is agoraphobic because he does still leave the house - but - he can be quite ill before doing so and doing so really takes it out of him. Anxiety levels have risen greatly as we have progressed through the teen years. My son is almost 16. We are at the moment seeing a gastroenterologist because of my sons nausea and lack of desire to eat. Sleep usually takes place between 3am and 2pm.

    It looks like we have a lot in common. I have already had this ride once and that was certainly a ride I will never forget. My eldest son was in a permanent state of volcanic activity and often went up to 72 hours without sleep.

    I think that puberty in autism should come with a warning that says 'strap yourself in and hold on tight - this ride can be dangerous'

    1. Not easy is it? I'm just so glad my son doesn't have to get up for school in the morning - we would never get there on time! I'm learning that I'm not on my own, just lovely to have it reaffirmed by parents in the same boat who understand what we are going through!