Friday, December 16, 2011

Solving the Sleep Issues

Dawson's therapist came today, bright and early at 9am. Dawson has been getting out of bed by then usually, but today he had a harder time. Thankfully once he saw his therapist, he smiled, gave her a hug and proceeded to lead her to the playroom. He had a great session, his longest yet, from 9-noon.
At 12:15, Dawson's teacher came for a home visit to discuss how he's been doing. She said he's enjoying school and does well. She brought up Kindergarten and said sending him in the Fall is a good option for him. We'll be having a meeting with the Special Ed department of the Elementary school sometime after the New Year. It's so weird to think about starting real school! He's had a teacher since 2.5 and has been going to school on the bus since 3, but Kindergarten sounds so official!

I mentioned wanting to do a velcro board schedule for him at home and she thought that was a great idea and even offered to make it for us. The school often provides that stuff at home, and she said she already has an extra one sitting around that she's not using that's just like the one he uses at school, so that should be easy. We went over the different things we do and she made a list. She'll be sending it home with him this week. I'm excited!

After his teacher left we left and met up with a friend at McDonalds to play. I hadn't been in there since the day Tyler was diagnosed. It was where I recieved the call about the bad lab results. Tyler was sleeping in his infant carseat while Dawson played. I remember the day like it was yesterday, I'm sure I always will. It was nice creating some happy memories. Dawson chased the girls around saying "I'm gonna get you!". It was so great hearing him interact with other kids. They are older too, 7 and 10. He usually doesn't pay much attention to the older kids.

I also got to meet someone who followed Tyler's story at the end and realized she's in the same town. She did a Scentsy fundraiser for us and even gave us some wax to burn in our warmer that I got from another friend.  There's just a lightbulb in there, so no flame to worry about and the wax really doesn't get that hot, I can touch it and it's warm, but not going to burn you. I turn mine on for about an hour and turn it back off again since the aroma stays around for a while. The warmer holds a picture, so I used a wallet of Tyler's 2 year picture and when the warmer is on, the picture glows and it's so neat. It's so hard to be without him and I'm grateful for all the amazing people I've gotten to know because of him.
 We can see it glowing even in the daytime, it's really neat
 All the bars she gave us! They're $5 each and last a very long time. Each one has about 8 little cubes in them and I'm still using the first little cube! It re-hardens when I turn it off for a while, but I've been using it for a while and haven't noticed the level going down at all. When I'm done I can pour it back and try a different scent. It's nice freshening the place up a bit, especially with the boy's room right off the living room and I sometimes notice that slight diaper pail smell.
 Here's the lady I met up with. She didn't ask me to advertise or anything, but she was super nice and I thought my local friends might be interested. You can order online too though. I never thought I'd be into anything like this, but it's nice to have. I'm looking forward to the "cookie" and "baked apple pie" smells. Right now I have Black Rasberry Vanilla going.

Since we got back home, I got these 3 necklaces. I love them! This first one was engraved and we have 5 necklaces and a keychain of this picture. Dan wears his everyday.
This one was hard to get a picture of, but it has the 3 boys' names around it
 I wore this one to the funeral, it arrived at 8:30 that same morning, just as I was wondering what necklace to wear. The one I'd planned on ended up being too short. The big circle says "always our wild thing", it's from his online group, we were all due the same month and have gotten to know each other well. The group is called Wild Things. The gem is his birthstone.

Dawson got a haircut! He was looking pretty shaggy before. He did great and only needed verbal reminders to sit still. A couple times I had to ask if he needed me to hold his arms, but he quickly said No and held still. He's getting so big! Here he is playing with his playdough. The therapist had made lots of balls that he's been taking in and out of the containers, so I gave him an egg carton and he loves putting all the balls in that.

The teacher and I talked about Dawson's schedule and his sleep issues a lot during our visit. I've been struggling with his bedtime for a long time. As a baby he was colicky, around a year he started getting out of his crib and hasn't really stopped. He goes to bed ok, he knows it's bedtime and doesn't put up much of a fuss, but he stays awake for 2-3 hours after I put him to bed. He'd crawl in bed with Tyler, who just wanted to sleep. Now he crawls in with Gabriel, or goes over to his crib and it annoys Gabriel too. He just wants to sleep. His teacher recommended a Melatonin suppliment. Naturally, your body makes Melatonin. It's what triggers your body to be tired and fall asleep. Autistic children often don't produce their own, so they have bedtime issues. So I went to the store and found it in the vitamin aisle. Gave him 1/2 pill about 30 minutes before bed. It was weird cutting and dissolving pills again. It was Tyler's bedtime routine, 1/2 chemo pill.

We made other changes to his routine also. She said no tv/computer/electronics an hour before bed. Those things stimulate the brain too much. So to occupy him we did playdough, coloring and books. We usually do those earlier in the day and relax with computer in the evening, so I wasn't sure how he'd deal with the change, but he did great. He's been playing with more toys lately anyway, so it's nice seeing him get comfortable. He even got out the trains, which is the first thing he's played with since we got home that Tyler used to do. She also said nothing with lights or animation while going to sleep either. He had a Baby Einstein fish crib toy in his bed, he watched the fish swim by and listened to the music. So I removed that and put on a baby lullabye cd instead.

At bedtime he went to bed ok, but when the lights went out and I turned on the quiet music, he wasn't happy. He screamed "music off!". I decided to let it go a bit and see what he'd do. After a couple minutes he was sounding tired, but still protesting a bit. He went to bed at 10:15 and fell asleep at 11pm! That's the earliest he's been to sleep since we got home over 6 weeks ago. Usually it's midnight-1am. Hopefully it will go well tomorrow also! I'm going to bump the bedtime back more and see how it goes.

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