Having a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be challenging at first. As a parent, you have a lot of research and learning to do to help your child. You stress and worry about them because you realize you will have to be their warrior. But, you know that you will advocate and fight for them every step of the way. My husband and I have been there. Although each child with ASD is unique, there is one thing that they absolutely need to thrive. They need an established bedtime routine. This is necessary when supporting children with autism. Without a routine, there can be a disruption of sleep that occurs each night. This can lead to problems during the daytime. Here are 4 ways a bedtime routine can help in supporting children with autism:
1. Minimize Behavioral Problems
According to a study published in the Journal of Pediatric Neurosciences, “Sleep problems are a prominent feature of children with ASD, this has an impact on social interaction, day-to-day life, academic achievement and have been correlated to increased marital stress and parental discord.” Sleep can help minimize behavioral problems for children with ASD. They will feel more equipped to handle everyday stressors if they have a good night’s rest.
2. Foster a Better Environment for Learning
Children with ASD thrive with consistency. This creates a better environment for learning. A consistent bedtime routine can help them process information easier. Learning is harder for children without sleep. If they were having trouble falling asleep, then their schedule the next day will be off, and thus learning will be extremely challenging for them. Supporting children with autism is helpful when they have a consistent bedtime routine.
3. Decrease Stress for the Child and Parents
Parents of children with ASD consistently get less sleep than other adults. If your child is not getting sleep, then there is a good chance you aren’t either. Establishing a bedtime routine for your child can help decrease stress for both of you.
4. Maintain a Routine/Balance in Schedule
When our child with ASD has a successful day, it is such a victory for us as parents. We watch as they grow and learn new behaviors or adapt to situations. Routines are essential for our children and bedtime is a perfect opportunity to keep a consistent routine. This helps create balance in their schedule and that translates into balance for other parts of their life.
How to Establish a Bedtime Routine to Help in Supporting Children With Autism
- Children with ASD take longer to fall asleep, so make sure you start getting them to bed earlier than the time you want them to actually go to sleep. Give yourself some wiggle room for a bedtime story, bath, brushing teeth, etc.
- Keep their bedroom cool and dark to help their bodies release melatonin. This will help them fall asleep more naturally.
- Use the Brave Knights Kit to address resistant behavior to sleep. Sir William’s Brave Knights Kit includes Sir William the Bear (12 inches tall), Magical Order of Brave Knights Storybook (hardcover, 32 pages, professionally illustrated) and our Projecting Flashlight (with eight images). The kit is designed to help give your child peace of mind so they can enjoy a good night’s rest. Their bond with Sir William will help reduce the resistance to bedtime. This will help shorten the routine and get your kids to sleep earlier and with less resistance and stress each night.
Imagine the victories that could lie ahead for your child if they have sleep behind them. A consistent bedtime routine can help to support children with autism. Buy the Brave Knights Kit today and help them establish a successful routine!