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sleeping?? (Autism)

My son is supected of having autism. We are on our way to see a specialist very soon. He will sometimes cry for no reason that I am aware of, but always settles down after being held and comforted. He is three years old.

This afternoon he became upset and began to cry. I picked him up and hugged him. I laid down on the couch with him to see if it would help him to calm down. He started to calm down and then he would let out a cry and make a face like something hurt and then would close his eyes and fall asleep. Then he did this again about 3 times. He doesn't have a temperature. Could it be that he was overly tired? The face he made looked like he was hurting. Has anyone else had something like this happen with their autistic child?

Thank you!

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CSJMommy3

Asked by CSJMommy3 at 6:27 PM on Aug. 7, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 8 (209 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • No...usually autistic children have a hard time going to sleep b/c they can not calm down.

    Not always...but sometimes :) Does he sleep well at night...maybe he is overtired b/c he is not having good sleep at night.

    Look into having a sleep study done....they have found that severe sleep issues can mimic some symptoms of autism...and once the sleep is corrected the behaviors go away.

    I would keep a close check on it and would push for sleep study...couldn't hurt anyways.
    mom2twobabes

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 6:35 PM on Aug. 7, 2010

  • Sounds like over stimulation of some sort. My autistic son had issues with bright lights. They hurt him and he'd cry like he was being burned by them! Could be sound,lights,texture,smell,taste,etc. Could also just be from confusion. Autistic kids interpret the world differently.
    butterflyblue19

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 6:37 PM on Aug. 7, 2010

  • Autistic children also respond to feeling weight against their body. Could be that "cuddling" with you on the couch help him to relate to the world around him which results in a relaxed state.
    FeelinYummy

    Answer by FeelinYummy at 6:40 PM on Aug. 7, 2010

  • Thank you for the responses.

    Yes, he does take a little longer to fall asleep at night. I can hear him in bed making noises. He doesn't cry, just makes sounds. My husband works shift work and will come in through the night and he can hear him up then too.
    CSJMommy3

    Comment by CSJMommy3 (original poster) at 6:41 PM on Aug. 7, 2010

  • I used a "sensory auditory box"...I know that's not the right word for them, but don't know what else to call it, lol...basically it played sounds of crickets, rain, birds, heart beat, etc....all night long...it helped....we eventually were able to fade it to just one hour at bedtime, and eventually he stopped needing it altogether....my doctor also recommended a noisy fan.....that worked when the batteries ran out of the noise box thingy..... but because he's not just crying all the time, i do kind of wonder if he's in some kind of pain....my son went through this and his behaviour worsened because of it...we recently found he had an abscessed tooth and it was draining into the roof of the mouth instead of the fleshy cheek, which put pressure all through his head, making him sneeze frequently....the crying stopped as he got used to the pain...he lived with it awhile because he couldn't tell us...so check everything !
    FXmomTo3

    Answer by FXmomTo3 at 8:25 PM on Aug. 7, 2010

  • Does he rock or move his legs a lot or complain of them hurting? Could be RLS caused by low iron absorption. You should take him to an allergist & have him tested for food sensitivities. GLuten & Dairy are common culprits. It could cause learning disabilities & behavioral problems. A food panel rast test for IgG is done by blood draw. This test saved my son.

    About the 5th or 6th therapist that suggested he could be aspergers. It took a psychiatrist specializing in autism to refer us to a competent allergist. This was the 3rd set of allergy testing he had done. We removed his problem foods & he is nearly caught up to his grade level & functioning normally.
    motherofhope98

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 10:43 PM on Aug. 7, 2010

  • Could be a physical thing like ear ache or cutting teeth, or gas pains. If it's related to autism, I suspect he has sensory issues. A kid with sensory processing issues literally feels pain when his senses are overloaded ( my autistic daughter is bothered by soft sounds, bright lights, elastic binding her, etc.) Autistic kids often calm with deep compression (hug them tight, put a weighted blanket on them, wrap them up in a blanket, etc.)
    mamahobbit

    Answer by mamahobbit at 8:50 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

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