Six Nights of Sleep

We’ve been giving Ava a dose of Melatonin before bed since last Monday.  She did not sleep the first night, so we upped the dosage a bit.

Then, we had SIX glorious days of full night’s sleep.  SIX!  Ava was happy, thriving in therapy and not stimming as much.  She started verbalizing more.  Mommy and Daddy got some sleep as well.  A happy family at last!

She did have diarrhea the first few days, which is typical.  I gave her apple with the skin on (the doctor’s recommendation) and banana yogurt to bind her.  It worked.

And then when we think we are on a “roll” with this sleep thing — we spiral back to square one.  Ava has not slept the past two nights, she has bad diarrhea and is miserable.  She just had diarrhea during her therapy session and cried hysterically — I don’t blame her.

So we are going to up the dosage again.  Not sure if it will work.  I am worried about diarrhea as well.  But she loves to drink water, so she will not dehydrate.  This poor baby cannot catch a break.

And of course, Mommy and Daddy are exhausted.  We have so much on our plate right now — even beyond the autism.  Sometimes I think it never ends.  We get a glimmer of hope, then it is snuffed out.  My biggest fear is that we will have to put her on the antipsychotic drug, Risperdal.  But her lack of sleep is more dangerous, I am told.

Someone throw us a bone, please!

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Kim Cristo
Kim Cristo is the mother to a child with autism and a neurotypical child. She advocates for the rights of autistic individuals and their families.
Kim Cristo

Kim Cristo

Kim Cristo is the mother to a child with autism and a neurotypical child. She advocates for the rights of autistic individuals and their families.

0 thoughts on “Six Nights of Sleep

  • July 6, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Hi, I really feel for you!

    I am an adult who has both bipolar and Asperger’s. Even when I was a kid, the moment I laid down at night, my mind raced, and it still does. Everyone I know with AS has the same problem: mind racing as soon as the body is still.

    I would HIGHLY NOT recommend Risperdal! OR Seroquel. I almost died from both of them. In the case of Risperdol, it didn’t help my symptoms, and the second time I received a shot, I had to be rushed to the ER due to convulsions and all my muscles feeling like they were being screwed down…it was unbearable. Another drug that will make you sleep is Seroquel, but they normally only do clinical trials on it for several weeks. After 3 years on it, I lost the ability to walk properly, my pulse got down to 49, and by the time I ended up at the regular doctor, I had hydrocephalus and they wanted to put a shunt in my  brain. However, instead, I got off the Seroquel and did detox kits, and after two years, returned to normal without surgery. It greatly upsets me they are giving Seroquel to kids.

    As for Melatonin, I take it, but with Klonopin. When I first started taking it, it worked fairlly quickly. I started with 3 mg a night, then went to five, then went to 10 mg, and take it with a Klonopin.Now it’s taking me several hours to go to sleep….and I can pretty much depend that I will be wide awake between 2:00 and 4:00. I did not get diarrhea from it. The thing the Melatonin helps is to eventually slow down my mind so that it isn’t racing.,,,but it usually takes two hours to kick in. I don’t know how much you’re giving her, but I have to be very careful of sleep cycles, because with my bipolar, once  I did not sleep for 3 whole months, not even a moment! Another thing that might help is to change the sleep cycles. In other words, experiment with the timing of them….probably the  best way to change around the sleep cycles is to get her up by 5:00 a.m. and don’t expect her to take a nap (I never could take naps ever#.

    I would definitely NOT let my child be put on anti-psychotics!

    There are several other things I do that help me sleep. One is that I have to have heavy covers. Most people with AS say the same thing. Another thing is that I use a heating pad that turns off by itself in two hours. It helps me relax, and comforts me.

    Another thing that helps me is  to have the  TV on a low volume and  be lying next to someone until I fall asleep. Noramally, I never ever get sleepy, but some quiet time laying down #again, about two hours) seems to still my mind. Maybe try giving her some Melatonin two hours before bed, then lying down with her  with the TV on. I know this sounds like a lot of trouble, but the external comfort somehow helps the mind relax….and everyone I know with AS reports that it is the racing mind that is at the source of the inability to sleep.
















  • July 2, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    So sorry for your troubles.  It’s tough enough without being sleep deprived on top of all the other concerns and challenges.  Ask her doctor about trying Valerian Root.  We have not had extreme sleep problems but a lot of anxiety crept up during bedtime for a while and the Velarian Root seems to help and we continue to use it for anxiety.   One of many studies found Valerian to be effective for sleep.

    Risperdal is hard core with a lot of side affects, many are serious so I would exhaust all other options before going the anti-psych route. 

    Good Luck to you and Miss Ava


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