4:30 AM wake up calls from Autism

SunriseWell it’s Easter Sunday and I thought for sure J would sleep in today. We we’re up late last night watching HOP, but once again the unpredictable spice of life that is Autism has awaken him at 4:30 AM. He woke up yelling and screaming, I figured he must have had a bad dream, maybe a bad cramp. Trying to reason with J when he is awake is its own task, add the delirium of being half asleep and it’s a whole other beast. I brought him a glass of water along with my “A game” of patience and went to investigate.

Apparently his anxiety about leaving his iPad charger at grandma and grandpa’s house woke him up. I know he gets anxious about family gatherings so it made perfect sense. We have a big, vociferous family, so the escape of having his iPad and headphones when he needs a break is a great comfort to him. I had the bright idea to teach J about being more responsible with his belongings. So instead of going back out later in the evening to retrieve it, my parents live in the same town, I told him I would get it in the morning and enforced it with”remember your things next time”.

At 4:30 AM he made it very clear this was the source of his anxiety. He needed me to reassure him that I would get the wire several times before his emotions finally simmered. I was tempted to go out right then and there but I chose to teach him about responsibility and there was no backing out now. After about an hour of moaning and groaning he finally went back to sleep, and so did Big J.

I never rediscovered the comfort of my bed so I figured I’d make the best of it and wish you all a Happy Easter or Passover, which ever you celebrate. Hopefully the Easter bunny leaves me a pillow for a nap since I’ve already given myself the lesson of learning when to pick my battles, especially when a good night’s sleep is at stake.

-JRED

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