Parents of children with ASDs are, I’m sure, aware of one of the biggest things we can do to ensure that our children behave themselves – make sure that there’s a factor of predictability to what’s going on. The Monster, for example, knows his schedule well – whether he sticks to it himself is another matter altogether, but.
Of course, going on a trip means throwing that all into chaos.
We went to visit my family this weekend, as our nephew was having his first birthday party. We left after the Monster’s gymnastics and drove up, on the theory we’d get to the hotel around bedtime and the kids could sleep, and we’d try to minimally impact the schedules….
First, both kids were up past 11 on Friday night due to the long car ride – the baby wanted to get some time to squirm around and get fed, and Monster didn’t want to go to sleep. Monster then woke up at 6ish AM, and I took him on a ‘walk’ so that the wife could sleep a bit… and when we returned at 6:30ish, the baby was awake. Alright. With the short sleep (Monster usually sleeps for 12 hours a night still), he ended up falling asleep around 7, and we went back to the hotel. With minimal fuss, he went to bed, woke up for a bit when he fell out of the bed at 10:30ish, and then went to sleep.
…Only to get up at 3 AM. As in completely, fully awake. It took putting him in the car and driving around the area near the hotel (which, thankfully, was in an area I grew up in, so I knew the lay of the land and after a bit of nudging of the concierge at the hotel located somewhere that I could get a cup of coffee) for him to fall asleep by 5:30, and we sat out in the car until 7:30 to let the wife and baby sleep.
You’d think I’d have learned by now that travelling throws him off. But no. We keep doing it, and we keep not finding ways to compensate for how he’s going to react when his schedule’s thrown into chaos.
We do know that we have to take another trip in about a month. Maybe between now and then, we’ll come up with some new strategy…