A few months ago big girl achieved her 50mtr swimming badge, she was elated, more so I think because her sisters didn’t, up until that point they’d all been achieving their badges at the same rate, but this time just big girl got her 50mtr badge so she was extra proud of herself.
Big girl has asked a few times over the last few weeks if she could take in to school her album of swimming certificates to show her class. I felt a little uneasy about this because whilst I know lots of children don’t have swimming lessons, I also know that there will be some 8yr old children that will have achieved much more than their 50mtr badges and it would only need 1 child to belittle her achievement for it to have devastating effects on her self confidence.
So I made a deal with her, I said if she had a good week ‘sleep wise’, then she could take her album in on the friday of the ‘good week’. I made this deal because I know if big girl is tired, then she is anxious, and if someone were to make a negative comment she would fall apart, but with sleep on her side she would be better equipped to face the negativity.
If you follow my blog you will know that on Monday of this week big girl had an appointment with the ‘autism sleep people’. They gave her some relaxation techniques to try out.
The results were remarkable. On Monday night big girl fell asleep within 30 minutes which is a massive improvement for her. Tuesday and Wednesday were the same, I was blown away! So Thursday she asked me if she could take her swimming certificates in to school. Of course I said yes, I pointed out what a great week she was having with her sleep and got her album bagged up ready to take in to school the next day.
Thursday night was a whole other story, she took hours to get to sleep, tossing and turning, thrashing about restlessly just like she used to. The novelty of the relaxation exercises had worn off I thought, I was gutted for her.
Needless to say I put her swimming certificate album back in the cupboard knowing she would be tired. I informed her Friday morning (today) that she wouldn’t be taking it to school afterall. She stropped.
Tonight she went to sleep beautifully again, slightly longer at 45 minutes, but she was back to being calm and relaxed like she had been at the beginning of the week.
So it would seem that the anxiety of taking her swimming certificates in to school is what kept her awake for hours last night, even though it was something she wanted to do, it was still too much pressure. She so desperately wants to be the same as her peers doesn’t she.