For many months now I’ve been meeting with a sleep specialist from the organisation that diagnosed big girls autism.
They’ve checked out her room, inspected our reward system, asked about our bedtime routine and scrutinised the many many weeks of sleep diary’s I’ve completed for them.
Today big girl came to meet the ‘sleep lady’ for the first time. She was very nervous, the conversation in the car on the way there was all orientated around her birth family and adoption which are always her instinctive thoughts when she’s anxious.
The meeting went quite well, the ‘sleep lady’ talked to big girl about the benefits of sleep, the effects of not getting enough sleep and how big girl must feel pretty fed up of struggling to sleep every night and being tired.
She then told us she was going to teach us a relaxation technique, it was your typical ‘tense and release each limb’ kind of technique and she asked big girl and I to sit back, close our eyes and give it a try. It was probably one of the most amusing moments big girl and I have ever shared. Neither of us could keep our eyes shut and we both kept secretly smiling at each other and giggling whilst the ‘sleep lady’ sat with her back to us talking through the instructions of what we were supposed to be doing.
When we left big girl got in the car and said ‘mommy I’m quite tired now I feel like I might need a snooze’ I too felt sleepy, so giggles and smiles aside, it had certainly relaxed us!
Tonight big girl complained of a headache, she also hinted at feeling tired but declined my offer of an early night. I gave her some paracetamol just before bed and reminded her of the new technique we’d learnt to help her sleep. She randomly decided tonight that she didn’t want a pillow.
I don’t know whether it was the head ache, stress of the day, awful nights sleep last night, no pillow or the new technique, but she fell asleep within 30 minutes of being in bed tonight which is considerably better than her usual 2.5hours!
What with big girl and middle girls sleep issues, I’m going to be a fully qualified sleep expert soon I’m sure! 🙂