|One man and is dog!|
I read an interesting article in Asperger United yesterday.A young adult with Aspergers was bemoaning the fact that he had work at 9.00am each day and was regularly still awake at 3.30am in the morning which caused a great deal of anxiety and other mental health issues.
At our recent CAMHS meeting we were given a sheaf of information sheets on promoting sleep- the professional freely admitted that she wasn't an expert in ASD but she thought they might help. They suggested all the normal things, wind down before bed, no screens, lavender bath, milky drink - none of them work. If my son is tired he will sleep, if he's not he won't.
I'm actually coming to the conclusion that his way isn't wrong.The reason he slept last night is that he has stayed awake for 2 days. That's how he turned it around last time so effectively he has a strategy if he really needs to get up for 9.00am. The problem is that society places expectations on us and that's what caused the stress. If my son was at school he would need to be out the house at 7.40am to get to the bus stop in time for school. I would be stressed, he would be oppositional and then we wouldn't make it. We would probably have ended up with school refusal and a visit by the school attendance officer, combined with intervention from CAMHS and every Tom, Dick or Harry, trying to 'sort out my son'.
In fact there is no right way. I can see that my son will have to work around his sleep patterns.I predict that he will handle working for himself better rather than working for others (another issue entirely) and there will be times when he has appointments which don't suit him (but then don't we all?) Shopping is likely to be online or at night- a benefit of the introduction of new technology and long opening hours, and most of his socialising will be online or at least until he has got to know people well.
It may make him appear eccentric to others but it certainly won't harm them and I'm pretty sure it will help keep him sane and free from unnecessary stress. Only time will tell if I'm right- one thing however I'm sure of is that home education has worked and is still working for him and, as I read the positive messages from all the lovely friends I've made online who are home educating their autistic children I'm convinced that for us it's the RIGHT way!