Sleep and the Autistic child

Sleep had always been an issue – even before our (now 12) year old son had a diagnosis (his diagnosis is ASD/PDA – Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Pathological Demand Avoidance). It was a long time in finding a diagnosis that fitted him but this really does say something about who he is and where he has come from. Before we started using the PDA strategies, he used to be quite aggressive. Thankfully less so now to us (although he can still be aggressive to himself). Anyway, I realise that he is so anxious about transitions that he actually finds the process of moving from daytime to night time overwhelming. He shouts, screams, delays, finds distractions – anything at all to delay the overwhelming anxiety of having to go to sleep. How to help him…it’s hard although the breathing helps, lavender may help, having white noise sometimes helps,… some things work for a while and then stop. We have to teach him how to help himself on this lifelong journey that he is on.