Why Won’t My Child Sleep? Reasons and Solutions
Sleep solutions from an autism mom whose child inspired her to become a sleep consultant.
Victoria Cooksley, BA (Hons), PGCE, QTLS
A Sensory Quandary
Helicopter parenting for sensory issues, good or bad? Find out from a mom of a child with SPD.
Sharon Czerwien, MA
Autism and the Dreaded Public Meltdown
A mom shares her feelings about public meltdowns.
Aimee C. Trafton
A Practical Guide to Teaching Self-Advocacy
Discover the meaning of self-advocacy, and how your loved-one might be communicating their needs.
Kelly Wanzer, MS, CCC/SLP
The Art of Possibility Thinking for Autism Families
The art of “possibility thinking” can bring positive change in your child’s life.
Stories About Bullying: Personal Accounts from Autistic Individuals
Hear from adults on the spectrum who were bullied for their differences.
Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB
A Guide to Sleep Aids
Find out about melatonin and other natural alternatives for helping your child sleep.
Melissa Doman, BA, CSSC
Finding Job Opportunities: A Spectrum of Tips
Learn from an autistic adult who shares her tips for finding employment.
Poetry Corner: Who Am I?
How Can Parents Understand the Reason for Toddler Behavior?
Looking beyond toddler behavior to understand what kids are trying to communicate.
Donta Hallmon, BCBA
Man’s Best Friend: How Assistance Dogs Help Autism Families
Discover how service dogs can help families live life to the fullest.
You Are Doing Your Best!
Encouraging words from a fellow mom of a child on the spectrum.
Autism Warrior: Niall Guite
Meet Niall Guite, who is raising awareness through his work with the Special Olympics.
How Telehealth Empowers Parents to Lead their Children’s OT
Gain insights on how occupational therapy through telehealth can provide additional support and added benefits to autism families.
Lily Baiser and Dr. Rondalyn Whitney, PhD
Autism and Sleep: Help Your Child Get a Restful Night
Explore research-based sleep solutions and the “why” behind sleep struggles.
Donnesa McPherson, AAS
Enhancing Community Participation with Autism Accessibility Audits
Learn how venues can make their facilities more accommodating for people with autism.
Megan Tripp, BS and Tina Fletcher
ASD Marketplace: The Floating Bed
Clonidine for Autism: What is it?
Examine the origins, uses, benefits, and side effects of clonidine.
Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB
Bullying: A True Story from a Neurodivergent Advocate
An educator shares how bullying affected her “rose-colored” view of the world.
Claudia Rose Addeo, MS
ASD Marketplace: AutiSpark
A look back on summertime where a mom shares how it feels to dread the weeks ahead.
Liz Kametz, MS
The 6 Clarity Conversations™
Learn how to have the conversations necessary to ensure your loved one’s future.
Ryan F. Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC
Dear Reader, I want you to cast your mind back, and try to remember the last time you or your child slept through a whole night uninterrupted…
Does a date or vague memory come to mind…? I’m going to be presumptuous here and say, for most parents reading this, the answer is no.
Frustrating, isn’t it? There are few things better than a good night’s rest after a busy day. Unfortunately, for parents and children with autism alike, this is a rare occurrence. It’s estimated up to 80% of autistic individuals have difficulty sleeping, and the reasons for this range from reduced melatonin, to anxiety, environmental factors, and more.
And what do you get with tired children? Tired parents, of course! Sleep is important for brain development, social skills, academic skills, and much more. It’s therefore vital not to ignore lack of sleep—for your child or for yourself.
I know the above sounds scary, but don’t fret—Autism Parenting Magazine is here to help! Our theme this month is ‘Sleep Solutions’ and the issue is full of content to help you uncover what’s behind your child’s sleep difficulties, and how to solve them.
An autism mom herself, sleep consultant Victoria Cooksley has penned Why Won’t My Child Sleep? Reasons and Solutions. She shares that 4pm-9pm in her own home used to be known as the “witching hours”! She remembers all too well the screams, cries, holding, and rocking that came with trying to settle her boy down for the evening. Now that Victoria is a trained sleep expert, her house is peaceful at night and she wants to help you achieve the same.
Meanwhile, sleep consultant Melissa Doman has written a Guide to Autism Sleep Aids. There are many options out there, from medication to more natural solutions such as implementing a new routine or creating a calming sensory space. The key message is that every child is unique: what works for one might not work for another.
On another note, we’re marking Bullying Prevention Month by featuring personal stories from autistic individuals who are bravely sharing their experiences. Through building awareness, perhaps together we can work towards bringing bullying of neurodivergent children to an end.
As I sign-off, I hope that, with the advice of our sleep experts in your family’s toolkit, you’ll find more Zzzzzzzzzs are on the way!
Emily Ansell Elfer
Autism Parenting Magazine