Daylight Saving and Autism
I’m not certain who came up with the idea of daylight saving time, although I know they had many good reasons for it. One thing I am fairly certain about, though, is that those people had not tried to get an autistic child ready for school the day after the fact. Fun? No. …
The day after the time change, Rachel was up until past midnight. She has sleep issues anyway, and she is not a fan of getting up in the mornings. Many nights, on the standard time schedule, Rachel cannot calm down and go to sleep until 11 p.m., even though we “put” her to bed around eight. Jumping ahead an hour on the clock only makes her worse.
But the night wasn’t as bad as the morning.
Here are some things I could have done to prepare better:
- More prayer — any prayer — would have been great. I spend so much time dealing with the urgent that I don’t take enough time for the Holy.
- Had backpacks, lunches, and the car packed and ready to go the night before.
- Checked to see that my own alarm was set, although the rush of panic adrenaline did help me move along that morning. …
- Had clothes for myself and the girls picked out ahead of time.
- Started doing things to wake up Rachel slowly — turn on the radio, Dora (TV), and turn on more lights. Perhaps the dog could have helped, but she wasn’t thrilled about getting up, either.
- Had some sort of motivation device already in place and ready to go. (I had been using a jump rope Rachel liked to hold to get her into the car. Sadly, I forgot to put it away and hide it the other day. It has now been assimilated into her mass of tangled toys. Motivational items should be kept separate and only used when the child needs motivating or a reward. Thinking ahead really, really helps this method. …) The motivator can span from favorite types of food to a toy or even an activity the child likes.
- Hubby and I should have gone to bed even earlier. We went to bed around ten, but I typed on my computer for a while after that. Lights out and quiet would have helped her calm down more.
When we finally did leave the house with the car packed to the ceiling in blankies — Rachel insisted, and I wasn’t going to argue — I was thankful we were only 20 minutes late to school. But the experience wasn’t fun.