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Kellie in NE
07-25-2011, 09:04 AM
We are in desperate need of some sleep help. My 4 year old special needs daughter does not sleep despite giving her a regular bedtime routine and melatonin at night. She night wanders, plays, get into things. We have changed her medication around to give her the bulk of it in the morning (she has epilepsy along with some other things) but that does not seem to help.

Does anyone have any sleeping tips-how do you get your special need kiddo to sleep?

Thanks

Robin in Colorado
07-25-2011, 10:01 AM
Kellie, we did a few things.

First, we began co-sleeping. That was a huge help.

Second, we hung a therapy swing from our bedroom ceiling. We put a pillow in it, and had her lay on her back. We swung her smoothly with long arcs (as much as you can get indoors with an 8ft ceiling) so that she was gliding along a line and going feet first. We did that every night at bedtime for many minutes.

Third, we began using a weighted vest during the day. It was amazing how that helped her sleep. Another thing that helped her sleep (she still uses sometimes) is something heavy on top of her, like a specially designed weighted blankie.

Lisalyn
07-25-2011, 07:05 PM
I was going to suggest the weighted blanket, but also, have you tried different brands of Melatonin? We have used a couple of brands that did absolutely nothing, some that takes a higher dose, and others that take very little.

Love the therapy swing idea.

Ginger Lynn
07-25-2011, 11:29 PM
I was going to say the weighted blanket, too. Or the pajama sacks, they are a huge help here.

tracy
07-26-2011, 02:51 AM
O boy do I ever understand.
For nearly 13 years my dd has not sleep 1 week out of the month. As she has gotten older her sleep issues have improved.

What I found that worked for her:

No ice cream after supper.
Nothing sweet after supper.
No RED 40, Blue 1, vanillian, BHT, TBHQ
No TV after supper
No computer and no video games after supper.
A warm bath before bedtime.
Reading books before bedtime.
Squeezes on limbs.
Placing all my weight on her while she is laying down.
Weighted blanket or weighted stuffed animal.
Chiropractic care -weekly adjustments

Somethings that have also worked:
eating a banana before bed
melatonin (grams can be adjusted)

Of all the things we have tried, the thing that has worked the best for dd is weekly chiropractic adjustments. Our doc has had special training for special needs children.

I do hope you find something that will work. Praying for you.

Rachel Jane
07-26-2011, 07:09 AM
Tell me about the therapy swing, Robin.

Kellie in NE
07-26-2011, 10:13 AM
Thank you all for your replies and ideas. We have a weighted blanket and a therapy swing. She enjoys swinging and we use this as a calming time at night. We have not used a weighted vest. We also do some swaddling and brushing which helps her to calm down. We seem to go in cycles where she sleeps decent and then we have trouble for two or three weeks. She has also never been one that needs a lot of sleep-but her sleep deprivation increases her seizure activity. I think she does not feel secure at night and are working on ways to assure her. One thing we have been thinking about is a therapy dog for her. She loves animals and a therapy dog might add a sense of security for her.